|Thursday Tips & Techniques: Arborsculpture|
|Written by Heleigh Bostwick Thursday, 08 March 2012|
I stumbled across the term arborsculpture when I was writing about a horticultural technique called pleaching. I discovered that pleaching is sometimes used to create arborsculpture, which is defined as the art of growing and training tree trunks via grafting, bending, pleaching, and pruning branches to form sculptural elements such as benches, chairs, letters and symbols such as peace signs, archways, gates, and the ficus (fig) tree hut pictured above.
The word arborsculpture was coined by Richard Reames, an arborsculptor living and working in Oregon. Arborsculpture is primarily a modern art form, although there is evidence that it existed prior to this time. The first arborsculpture on public display was in 1947 and was titled, “The Tree Circus”. It was the creation of a man named Alex Erlandson, a self taught arborsculptor.
Reames considers his work a living architecture and while it does combine various horticultural techniques, arborsculpture is different from bonsai, espalier, pleaching, or topiary. The trees he uses as his medium include alder, ash, sycamore, white birch, poplar, cherry, apple, pear, locust, redwood, and eucalyptus. It also goes without saying that creating an arbosculpture is not for everyone as it is in most cases an arduous, lengthy task.
For more information visit Arborsmith Studios.
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Eden on Their Minds: American Gardeners with Bold Visions