Posted on 28 August 2008 by

The Art of Shaping Trees

By Vanessa Richins

Whether your yard is large or small, you can experience the amazement and joy of a tree that has been shaped into unusual and wonderful new designs.

There are several different forms you can choose.


Bonsai trees can fit into any household. Did you know that these little trees are the same exact species that you would find outdoors? The Japanese have perfected this art of careful pruning and training over the course of many years. if you have the time and lots of patience, you can learn to create your own bonsai.


Topiaries are trees and shrubs that have been trained into shapes. Sometimes they are plants that are grown in a metal frame stuffed with peat moss. Other times the actual plant has been guided and trimmed to take on a shape, such as an elephant or a car. Sometimes shrubs are formed into hedges, and trees trained into an arbor.

Other Tree Arts

Two of my favorite new sites are Arbor Smith and Pooktre. They both highlight the art of tree trunk shaping. It differs somewhat from topiaries in that topiaries focus on the shape of the tree with leaves. These websites focus on different methods of training tree trunks.

Sometimes people also paint the tree trunks or hang art from the branches.

Have you ever created any of these forms of tree art?

One Response to “The Art of Shaping Trees”

  1. Cindy Says:

    I have my dream garden designed around a series of espaliered fruit trees, another art form I am interested in. Thanks for posting this, I love playing with the fun side of gardening!

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