What Is Pooktre Tree Shaping?

The art of Pooktre tree shaping was mastered over the last 15 years through a partnership between Australia’s Pooktre duo, Peter Cook and Becky Worthey. Their gradual shaping method alters the shape of a living tree so its growth is according to a predetermined design.

Arbor Sculpture

Also known as arbor sculpture, tree shaping is the art of cultivating living trees into useful objects, sculptures, or designs. Bonsai, Topiary, and Espalier are other forms tree shaping.

Self-Grafting or Inosculation

The process makes use of inosculation or self-grafting, which can occur naturally. When two branches grow close together and continually rub against each other, the bark wears away, revealing the underlying living sapwood. New wood forms and the two trees are joined with their sap intermingling freely. The swollen wood galls that form over the join are similar to those that form when the wasp lays eggs in branches.

Appropriate Tree Species

There are many kinds of woody plant that lend themselves to Pooktre tree shaping methods as they are easy to manipulate, like the Wisteria and Grape vines, and the Beech, Ash and Fig trees. Various techniques such as bending, weaving, twisting, grafting, molding, pruning, or light control are used to create the designs.

A Pooktre Living Chair

The length of time it takes to grow a Pooktre living chair, for example can be 8-10 years, depending on the sort of tree used, the climate, the design, the final height and the diameter of stems and branches needed. It may be a living sculpture until it dies or it may be grown to be used as a piece of furniture.