How to Create a Living Tree Sculpture
Gardeners often see their landscape as a piece of art. Di
you know that you can use arborsculpture techniques to turn those dreams into
reality? They offer you eco-art in the purest form possible. But what is arborsculpture?
Glad you asked. Arborsculpture is a series of gardening practices combining grafting, bending, and training your trees and
other plants. With time and practice you can become very good at it, but even as
a beginner you can use simple arborsculpture methods to create living art in
You may be thinking a living tree sculpture is nothing more
than a dream, but for centuries professional arborists or eco-artists have been
using this technique. You can talk to your arborist or tree care professionals
about tree sculptures are you can try it yourself. Tree training
arborsculptures uses techniques like grafting to accomplish its final look,
which can take years, possibly decades to complete, so you’ll need to be
patient. Let your imagination run wild and your inner child out to play.
Modern interest in tree sculpture increased during the late
1940s when a man by the name of Axel Erlandson became fascinated with tree
shaping. Over time he shaped almost 70 trees into delicate curves, intricate
knots, and interesting spirals. In facts Axel’s Tree Circus was a famous
tourist destination until Erlandson died.
Tree training arborsculptures require you to begin with
young trees that have branches that are pliable.
One of the techniques you will use often is grafting or the
joining of pieces so that they will eventually grow into a single plant. The
technique lets you create specific curves, angles, etc. Espalier is another
popular procedure where you combine simple training methods to get the outcome
The tools you will need include twine, tree tape, stakes,
string, wire, pruners, loppers, chainsaw and saws. The most popular trees to
use are cork elm, box elder, cherry, Japanese maple, weeping willow, oak and
alder. You can find more on this practice online or talk to your arborist.