Rev. Warlock DRACONIS BLACKTHORNE (dblackthorne) wrote,

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The Tree Circus

The Eccentric Spotlight
Axel Erlandson, Creator of The Tree Circus.

After a trip to The Mystery Spot in Santa Cruz, CA {which is essentially a 'gravity hill' featuring tilted buildings and various optical illusions}, his daughter mentioned that people would actually pay to see the results of his tree sculpting skills, which he developed in Minnesota as a farmer, for the amusement of friends and family.

This is a process called Arborsculpture, involving the ornamental pruning, grafting, bending and binding trees to assume a desired shape without the slightest bit of harm, which may be more familiar with Bonsai trees. Erlandson applied his techniques first to sycamores, then eventually several genera of trees such as birch, and others.

Settling in Scotts Valley, CA, he began exercising his imagination by modifying trees {with various designs, eventually submitting two photos to Ripley's Believe It Or Not, where they appeared 12 times. Of particular interest was the Knot tree which was indeed configured into a perfect knot, now named the Ripley's Knot Tree, along with several other creations, including the "Basket Tree", "Cube Tree", Diamond Tree", "Valentine Tree", "Ladder Tree", "Four-Legged Giant", and "Telephone Booth Tree", among many others. He even fashioned a veritable throne comprised of trees, and benches for visitors.

He eventually opened 'The Tree Circus' which became a tourist attraction after also having appeared in Life Magazine. Framing the entrance itself is a "Two Leg Tree", forming a perfect entryway.

The Tree Circus was eventually sold to a couple of aficionados who added dinosaurs to the menagerie affixing The Lost World to the attraction, then resold to a commercial business, but under an eventual threat of being bulldozed, was preserved and transplanted. His tree creations still exist today and are on display at theme park Gilroy Gardens in Gilroy, CA. ∞

Related Sources
* Arborsmith Studios.
* Photo Gallery.

Tags: adventure, black earth, botany, dracumentary, eccentric spotlight, horticulture, nature, travel

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