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February 23, 2006

Richard Reames, Master of Arborsculpture: Ultimate Topiary


Say what?

That's right: arborsculpture.

It was new to me as well until I read an article in the latest issue (#20) of Cabinet magazine by Richard Reames (below, sitting on a living tree bench) about his esoteric field of expertise.


"Arborsculpture is an art form utilizing the live tree trunk as the medium. By grafting, bending, framing and multiple planting, I grow useful, solid, flowering, fruiting, seasonally changing kinetic works of art and architecture," is how he describes it on his website.


It's a fascinating introduction to a rather arcane arena.

He has written two books: "How to Grow a Chair,"


published in 1995, and

"Arborsculpture — Solutions for a Small Planet,"


out last year.

Above and below,


several of his "extreme trees."

February 23, 2006 at 04:01 PM | Permalink


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There is a web site with more refine pieces of living tree art and chair and tables. It is www.pooktre.com

Posted by: ferret | Mar 11, 2006 9:24:08 PM

There is a amusement park called Bonfante gardens in CA, it has transplanted many trees that were extreme topiaries when I was a child. They call them the Circus trees.

Posted by: Richard | Feb 23, 2006 6:10:52 PM

Axel Earlandson's circus trees date back to the 1920's and can be seen here in the SF Bay area:

Posted by: enoch choi | Feb 23, 2006 5:14:23 PM

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful! And strange, strange, strange! My two favorite things all wrapped up together! Topiaries and bonsai are the only things about planting and growing and gardening and all that kind of thing that really grab me. Hey, I wonder if there's such a thing as topiarying bonsai? Would that not be too cool?

Posted by: Flutist | Feb 23, 2006 4:49:31 PM

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