Recent Posts

Dec 22, 2009

The Tree Whisperer

Alex Erlandson, born in 1884 has a passion for sculpting trees, also known as arborsculpture. As a young boy, the Swedish born grew up becoming a bean farmer in Central California near Turlock. There, inspired when he noticed that trees of the same species would naturally "inosculate" or bond together where they touch, he began to shape trees. It started out as a hobby for the amusement of himself and his family but turned into his life's work as his tree creations brought more and more attention from the public. Using a special set of skills, Erlandson started to sculpt things out of living, growing trees.

In 1947, Erlandson opened his Santa Clara Valley attraction called "The Tree Circus" where locals and tourists could pay to see his “World's Strangest Trees” and by 1957, he had created more than 70 circus trees. Alex Erlandson died in 1964.

Today 25 of Axel Erlandson's trees are on display at Gilroy Garden, California and his first creation, the "Four Legged Giant" remains alive and well at the park, some 80 years after it was begun.

Unfortunately, Erlandson never shared his techniques. When people asked him how he created them, he simply said "he talked to the trees". Many believe he may have done just that.


duff said...

Just a note: The image at bottom left in your montage is not of one of Axel Erlandson's works and it is not in the Circus Trees collection at Gilroy Gardens in Gilroy, California. That arborsculpture, called ''Pretzel Tree'', is by Aharon Naveh and is still growing at Kibbutz Revivum in Israel.

Post a Comment