The history of Arborsculpture


Early Pioneer

Axel N. Erlandson (1884-1964)

"A number of people have asked me if there is any one else who can take up this work when I lay it down; but I know of no one that could be trained to continue after me in this occupation.
So in a way it would appear that I have learned a kind of profession so late in life that I cannot carry it to near its ultimate possible attainment".... 
Santa Cruz, California, May 1953


He would name his attraction “The Tree Circus.”
Admission was 30 cents.  In June of 1947 Axel sent a letter with photographs to Robert Ripley, the celebrated world traveler who was known for his newspaper column “Ripley’s Believe It Or Not” and short newsreels documenting the world’s strangest things. Axel wrote: “Enclosed you will find two snapshots of trees which I have trained to grow into these unique shapes. This training took about ten years. These trees are located on the Los Gatos highway near Santa Cruz, California. 

 Arborsculpture: Solutions for a Small Planet