The Abundance Tree
Bay Street

5616 Bay Street
, Emeryville, CA 94608  

Photo By: Peter Brooker

The Belonging Tree


2415 Main St, Santa Monica, CA 90405 


Designer & artist Anthony Schmitt - known worldwide for his artistic creation and annual installation of the Shopping Cart Christmas tree. 

Schmitt conceived the idea 14 years ago at the request of Abby Sher, former owner and developer of the Frank O. Gehry designed Edgemar. Schmitt envisioned a geometric object, something modern and shiny.  “I was inspired by memories of a 1960’s aluminum tree and a friend’s mom who boldly wore platinum hair” shares Schmitt. The Colwell and Belden families have continued the annual tradition of commissioning the tree since buying Edgemar in 2007. 


“The shopping cart tree symbolizes both generosity and abundance, as well as acknowledging those less fortunate where their whole world may be housed in a cart.  We see shopping carts everyday and take them for granted. Individually the beauty of an everyday object may become invisible, but in quantity you can’t miss it”, remarks Schmitt.

This year's Shopping Cart Tree is built with 86 carts, mostly full size with a few smaller versions at the top, to create a forced perspective of height.  The internal structure, engineered for stability and invisibility, allows the branch-like quality of the carts to appear self-supporting and remind us that imagination can always be applied to the season.  

The Shopping Cart Tree is not only covered by the local papers every holiday season, but also mentioned in several international travel guides for Santa Monica, used as a backdrop for The Off-Their-Jingle-Bell Rockers holiday YouTube videos and featured in a half-hour special in China. 

Installation & Decoration 2012

For more information or to schedule an interview with Anthony Schmitt, please email

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