Tree Shaping is Absolutely Incredible

September 16, 2016

It’s been called many different names. Tree shaping. Arbortecture. Biotecture. Grown furniture. Living Art. Pleaching. Tree training. But there’s only one word to describe it: incredible.

Tree shaping uses living trees and other woody plants as the medium to create art and structures. Tree shaping is the process of making tree chairs:

Tree Shaping Chair Urban Offsets

Or tree people:
Tree Shaping People Urban Offsets
Or even tree bridges:

Tree Shaping Bridges Urban Offsets

To do this, there are three methods to shape a tree: aeroponic root culture, instant tree shaping (arborsculpture) and gradual tree shaping.

Aeroponic root culture

Aeroponic root culture is just as it sounds, growing of the roots aeroponically. And that’s exactly what it sounds like…growing plants in the air. This method of growing roots allows them to remain flexible enough to be shaped without damage before the root tips are planted into the ground. The idea behind this method is to grow large amounts of roots that can be used as a building material, thus creating almost instant living structures.

Instant tree shaping

Instant tree shaping is essentially 3D pleaching. Pleaching is the process of entwining or interlacing tree branches to form a hedge or provide cover for an outdoor walkway. The maturity of the trees and the damage done in the bending process will determine the length of time needed for the new growth to strengthen the cast, and then stabilise into the new shape. It can be anywhere from 2-15 years or longer.

Gradual tree shaping

Gradual tree shaping starts with the supporting framework. Into this frame the growth pathways are built. The advantages of this method are that it is repeatable with even growth, and you can easily test your designs or grow other people’s proven designs to save yourself years of testing. You can leave a living legacy of your creation and it is also cheap to do. This method avoids stressing the tree and it continues to grow vigorously and evenly.
More pictures of tree shapings:

Tree Shaping Diamond twolegtree