Trees You Won’t Believe!

Basket Tree

Closeup of Basket Tree

Emblem Tree

Optical Illusion Tree

Revolving Door Tree

The world’s most unusual trees can be seen at Gilroy Gardens in Gilroy, California.  These unique trees were twisted, curved, and woven into imaginative shapes by farmer Axel Erlandson in the 1940s for his roadside “Tree Circus” near Santa Cruz.  The trees were featured in LIFE magazine and Ripley’s Believe-It-or-Not”.  Axel used grafting and frameworks to create his tree art.  He found that tree limbs thicken over time, but the shapes remain the same.  When children asked him how he did it, he said, “I talk to the trees”.  Eventually the property was sold and the trees were forgotten.  In 1985 the trees were rescued and moved for display at Gilroy Gardens.  Nineteen of the Circus Trees are on display throughout the park.  If you would like to try your own hand at arborsculpture, information on tree art is at:   More info about Gilroy Gardens is at:  You can watch a television show about the trees by Huell Howser on California’s Gold at:

About Pam
Richard and Pam lived in the San Francisco Bay Area 14 years (1987-1999 and 2008-2011). They lived in Florida 13 years previously, until returning in July 2011 to present. They hope their photography will encourage you to get out and discover nature's beauty in your own backyard, parks, and wild places. Click on any pictures on this blog to see them full size with additional details.

12 Responses to Trees You Won’t Believe!

  1. seapunk2 says:

    I appreciate the links, and did use them. Great story! I always wonder how an individual’s mind works when I see something so unusual….

  2. Elisa says:

    I wouldn’t have thought it was possible to train or graft a tree to grow this way. I’m glad they were rescued and on display for all to see.


  3. That’s so cool! I wouldn’t have thought this possible. 😉

  4. This is something else! I’ve never seen anything like it before! Great post!

  5. That is very impressive! I’ve never seen anything like that before I can’t imagine the patience required to do that!

  6. Pingback: 9 Living Tree Sculptures: Art Created One Ring at a Time | Content inspirations

  7. Pingback: 9 Living Tree Sculptures: Art Created One Ring at a Time | Inspirational Connections

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