Trees "shaped" into sculptures

 Images Pooktre People-Trees People-Trees-16
Peter Cook and Becky Northe of Queensland, Australia use wire frameworks to "guide" trees into interesting live sculptures, including figures, chairs, tables, and other stranger shapes.
 Images Garden Chair Pook In Chair 03Pooktre has perfected a Gradual shaping method, which is the shaping of trees as they grow along predetermined designs. Designing and setting up the supporting framework are fundamental to the success of a tree. Some are intended for harvest to be high quality indoor furniture and others will remain living art.
Pooktre Tree Shapers


  1. Rather like a full sized bonzai tree.  Bonzai growers use wire to shape their tortured baby trees all the time.

    1. Hoping that your hyperbole is in jest. In any case ‘tortured baby’ makes it seem as if bonsai is a brutal and painful process done in the interest of being sadistic to trees. While it is an unnatural and unusual method of plant care I don’t really think there is any intent to harm. The bonsai artist uses slow and consistent coercion to achieve an aesthetically pleasing form. And many of these extraordinarily well cared for trees live very long (probably happy) lives, some are known to be hundreds of years old in fact.

          1. True.  I like trees at least as much as I like women, and I’m very fond of trees. To see either deformed for aesthetic reasons sickens me.

          2. Oh noes, look at all these deformed trees!

  2. If you printed it out single space in 12 point font, the discussion on Wikipedia over the name of this art form would be at least 100 pages.  It is among the longer-running and more contentious non-political disputes, largely because various practitioners of it want their preferred terminology used.  Note that the above picture has a logo – it is a branding war.

  3. One day the trees will rise up and “guide” you gelatinous human meatsacks into a more appealing framework! Get some knots in your trunk and loose some leaves already!

  4. There used to be a big park of shaped trees, sort of a roadside attraction, in Scotts Valley, California, between San Jose and Santa Cruz. It was called Tree Circus, and was created by a Swedish immigrant named Axel Erlandson. Later the land was bought by someone else who installed dozens of giant replica dinosaurs on the site and renamed it “The Lost World”. We never went there as kids, as it was rarely open, but loved to drive by it and see dinosaurs and the nearby “Santa’s Village” on family trips to the beach at Santa Cruz. Some of the trees remain at Gilroy Gardens amusement park in Gilroy.

  5. Can’t anyone else hear the trees screaming in agony? Oh, the torture!
    Won’t someone think of the trees?

  6. I was going to sarcastically concern troll, but I’ve been beat to the punch. So here’s a (bad) joke.

    Bonsai: “Don’t hate me because I’m different. My creator made me this way.”

    Bush: “Nonsense. Topiary’s a choice, you unnatural abomination.”

    Bonsai: “Get bent.”

  7. It may be appropriate to remember at this point that trees (as most plants) grow in modules. Unlike a mammal, that does indeed have genetic instructions to build 4 limbs (and will end up with 4 limbs, no more and no less, except in cases of abnormal development), a tree is not born with a predetermined number of branches, and it grows continually as long as the conditions are favorable. Their final shape depends on the interaction of their growing modules with external factors (including, now, the people who engage in this art, craft, practice or whatever they prefer to call it).

  8. I don’t think the trees are necessarily suffering, but I do dispute the mentality of people that presumably think they’re ‘at one with nature’ while forcing trees to comply to their desires. 

    1. Are they forcing the trees? The way these people do it is by convincing the tree that the environment they are in makes them grow best in the shape of a chair. The tree grows as it sees best.

      Training a tree to take a certain shape is a lot like teaching a child. You tell the child that if they want desert they should be good. The child changes, becomes good, and gets desert. The tree is told that it can grow better in shape XYZ, so it does. The child grows to prosper in his/her environment, and the tree grows to prosper because of what it knows of the environment it is in.

      Which is the abuse?

  9. The tree chair that the guy in the photo is sitting on looks like a menorah!
    trees are usually deceased before serving as chairs.

  10. No, this is a bad thing.  The human desire to scew with the natural world for fun and profit must be suppressed.

    1. No, this is a bad thing.  The human desire to scew with the natural world for fun and profit must be suppressed.

      Should we start with suppressing computers or medicine?

      The human desire to screw with the natural world should be channeled into constructive and harmless activities. Suppressing human desires neither works nor ends well. Unless you’re able and willing to commit total genocide, tinkering is here to stay. Repressing human nature under the banner of sacred cows is for religions zealots.

      Just my opinion, of course.

      1. Gulliver,

        You really don’t need to hit Enter after the blockquote tag.  You’re just creating more white space.

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