Tree shaping (also sometimes referred to as arborsculpture and many other names) uses living trees and shrubs as a medium for art and structure. It takes lots of work and a mountain of patience, but various tree shapers have made chairs, intricate designs, and even a modest church. The latter is our focus today, and can be found in Ohaupo, New Zealand.
Barry Cox runs a tree-spading business and has a deep love and appreciation for the natural world. As a demonstration of how a garden could be immediately created through the use of a tree-spade, Barry came up with the Tree Church. Various different trees were used in its ‘construction’, with the five species being Alnus Imperialis, Leptospernum, Camelia Black Tie, Acer Globosum, and Thuja Pyramidalis.
It is a glorious testament to nature, which some would say is an aspect of Divine beauty and power. Whatever you believe, the Tree Church is a magnificent example of what can be crafted out of a living material so long as you have patience and skill. It is a marvel of natural engineering, and is sure to blossom into a masterpiece.