This is really interesting stuff we found on Wikipedia.

Two approaches to tree shaping
  • Instant tree shaping is a form of tree shaping in which small trees 6 to 8 ft. (2 to 2.5 m) long are bent into the desired shape. The time spent shaping these trees may only take from an hour to an afternoon.
  • Gradual tree shaping is a form of tree shaping where seedlings or saplings 3 to 12 in. (7.6 to 30.5 cm) long are shaped while the tree is growing to form the desired shape. The design and setup are fundamental to the success of the piece.


There are several styles contained within the art of tree shaping. These include:
  • Architectural: planting and shaping trees into structures such as archways, rooms, houses, tunnels, gazebos. There are two methods within this style: using the trees to form the structures, or using both trees and inclusions to form them.
  • Living Art: shaping trees with the intention that the design will continue to grow for the duration of their lifespan. This style includes abstract, symbolic, and functional designs.
  • Intentional Harvest: designs where the tree(s) are cut from the ground, dried and finished.
  • Inclusion: where an item, often inert, is positioned so the growth of the tree includes and holds the item. Examples include tabletops, stained glass, and mirrors.

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