Page 9 - 3 Methods of Tree Shaping
P. 9

In our opinion the Cons of Arborsuclpture far outweigh the Pros, here are the


        Pros of Arborsculpture

        •  Quick - You can bend trees into a design in an hour or less.
        •  Instant result - By bending and weaving the whips into a design similar to
            basket weaving, an instant pleasant effect is achieved.

        •  Cheap to start - simply take many cuttings of a willow put them in water
            and they will quickly take root, as will poplar.

        •  Books -There are two books by Richard Reames detailing his method.                                    Instant tree shaping (Arborsculpture)

        Cons of Arborsculpture

        •  Still  experimental  -  Richard  Reames  creator  of  this  method  started
            shaping trees in 1992 and states in his 2nd book (Arborsculpture) in 2005

            that he doesn’t understand why his trees respond the way they do and that
            he now regards all his tree shaping to be experimental and he has faith he
            will  learn from his trees.

        •  Slow uneven growth and die back - When Richard visited us he talked
            about his tree projects having quite a high level of die back, a year or so
            later Peter queried him about it in an e-mail and Richard replied about

            having a 30% dieback. In his 2nd book he recommends having plenty of
            trees in reserve to replace the trees that will die just after planting. It has

            been noted by others that the following season more trees die from the
            initial bending in the creation of the piece.
        •  Long time to find out it doesn’t work - In short the Arborsculpture bending

            methods create irrevocable damage to the trees, resulting in dieback, slow
            growth or stunted growth. Unfortunately the results can take up two years

            or more to show, because of the nature of trees’ growth patterns. We have
            seen a tree where a grub had completely ring barked the cambium layer.
            This tree continued to grow the rest of the season and it wasn’t until part

            way through the next that the tree died.  Arborsculpture’s bending tech-
            nique effectively ring barks the trees, though Richard Reames states in
            his book that “95% of all my mistakes have had nothing to do with the fact

            that my trees were bend or grafted.” We disagree, it is Arborsculpture’s
            bending of mature trees that is causing most of the mistakes.
        •  Designs don’t conform to tree lore - Because of the troubles Arborsculpture

            has with achieving even and balanced growth, no-one using this method
            has reached the stage of being able to test and repeat to find out where

            the design faults are.
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