1993 Arborsculpture by Richard Reames

Richard Reames developed a love of gardening and trees at a very young age. This passion he learnt from his mother while growing radishes and carrots in front of his house. Once he grew big enough he started climbing trees and building his own treehouses and even built a treehouse that became a clubhouse to him and his friends. 

In his early college years he studied horticulture and botany. Later on in life he worked for several years as a landscaper, where he developed his knowledge of tree planting, pruning and irrigation systems. In 1987 He was was given some fruit trees which he then planted into a circle planning to grow some kind of secluded space. Due to the local wildlife of deer, these trees never managed to grow successfully. He did some experimental grafting, with manzanita trees. This experiment ended when the owner of the property decided he wanted a wider driveway and removed the trees. It would be a several years before the idea of shaping trees again returned to Richard.

It was during the year of 1991 that Richard met Maya Many Moons. Learning that he would soon be a father he went for a walk in the forest, to contemplate what sort of career he would like to do, to support him and his new family. His memories of photos of the Circus trees of Axel N Erlandson revisited him. And he thought :- “Wow, what a great thing to do: shape living tree trunks!” * This started him off with his early experiments on bending trees.

He lived near the Tree Circus attraction and visited as a child. He started bending trees into chairs and tables and symbols in 1993. Most of his early trees where in pots. He traveled to various garden shows to display and sell his trees. It was during this time that he wrote a book titled ‘How to grow a Chair – The art of Tree Trunk Topiary’ and published it 1995. In 2005 he wrote and published a book titled ‘Arborsculpture Solutions for a Small Planet’.

For more information on Richard Reames and his shaping methods go to

*Quote from the book Arborscuplture Solutions for a Small Planet.