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The Many Ways to Shape a Tree

See the astonishing ways people around the world have trained trees to grow.

All over the world, people have discovered unique and creative ways to bend the limbs of trees to human ends. There are root bridges that cross rivers, buildings made with living walls, trees sculpted into impossible shapes, and much more.

Training trees takes time and patience, and it can be difficult to convince trees to follow a human design. For the most part, the people who have pursued this art have discovered it on their own. Only in recent years have tree shapers begun to pool their knowledge, though it may take years to see the results.