Axel Erlandson Trees
Sometimes, watching crookedly growing trees, it seems that there is nothing difficult to make them grow as you like, but of course there is a limit to everything. But here one person decided to go ahead and realize absolutely fantastic patterns from living trees ...
Erlandson set about his first experiments in 1919. He, who spent all his youth on the farm, was always amazed by the ability of nature to create complex structures of branches and stems. At first, he used the usual for gardeners methods of pruning and grafting shoots to "push" them to grow in the right direction. Some compositions were created due to the accretion of two or more trunks pressed to each other, such as, for example, an elegant tree-arch (it is also a “two-legged tree”). Over time, the skill grew, new methods of work appeared.
Soon he realized that his trees were popular, and decided to create a park «Tree Circus».
Erlandson did not reveal to anyone the secret of his technology, carefully protecting from spies the “recipe” of vaccination, which he did to the trees
However, when Axel began to ask about the secrets of his trees, he only started to laugh it off: “I just ask them about it” The most favorite “pets” in the garden of Erlandson were plane trees - it turned out to be easy to work with them, giving shape at an early stage.
Soon after returning from a trip abroad, Axel Erlandson was thinking about creating a large garden-museum. By 1947, he transferred several dozen already-grown compositions to the purchased plot in the town of Scotts Valley. Most of the exhibits by that time were already several decades old, and their creator was not in a hurry to plant new ones, because there were practically no chances to finish work on them. The museum was given the name “Wood Circus” and immediately attracted crowds of curious tourists from all over the country.
Arbosculpture is a kind of creativity that takes many years and requires great sophistication, but it is surprisingly durable and harmless both for the environment and for the material. Trees do not experience any discomfort and continue to grow, even if they are tied in a knot.
The green crowns of the living sculptures of Erlandson are the best proof of this.
After the owner's death in 1964, another tourist attraction called the “Lost World” was attempted from the tree circus. But plastic dinosaurs on the background of unusual trees caused only irritation of visitors, and soon this idea was forgotten. Living sculptures themselves continue to stand, and obviously feel great. Arbosculpture has gained new fans, and now the garden of Erlandson is not unique. But no one can take away his story from this unique place.