I've recently discovered a very cool method of tree training in which saplings are trained to a rigid form, and fused (inosculated) at certain points, to become a desired shape. If I follow the basic methods I found on Wikipedia, will I have good results? Do the trees require additional care? Is this a good idea to try out, or will it be a waste of time? See pics below for ideas I might consider trying.

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  • I don't know whether it will work - I just wanted to say I hate these - I can't help feeling the plant's been unnecessarily tortured, they are living things after all, but there you go, that's my personal response! – Bamboo Jun 11 '14 at 12:37
  • @Bamboo well, it's technically no more torture than grafting fruit trees, and pruning to form. Surely you've eaten tree fruit without thoughts of plant torture? :) – J. Musser Jun 12 '14 at 2:44
  • yes I eat fruit, but that doesn't hurt the plant, fruit is only a seedcase meant to be eaten or spread by the plant to increase its numbers. – Bamboo Jun 12 '14 at 11:06
  • @Bamboo The fruit you ate came from grafted, pruned trees that were treated at least as hard as the trees in the photos. It is just shaping for the desired effect. Like shearing a hedge. How unnatural is that? – J. Musser Jun 13 '14 at 4:11
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    Ah, now that's a much better example than eating fruit, was waiting for you to get to that! Its just my personal thing really - I cut where I have to, do what I have to, ruthlessly, often for the plant's health, but I'm not stopping anyone else from torturing plants if they want to, each to his own. – Bamboo Jun 13 '14 at 9:59

Sure it will work. This is basically a form of espalier which is done in home gardens (including mine) all the time. I don't do anything out of the ordinary in terms of care for the trees I treat this way. It takes patience though. I love that chair idea.

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    One drawback I know of to creating these tree forms is the form you create may become distorted as the tree gets older. It depends on how complicated a form you are trying to create. – TeresaMcgH Jun 11 '14 at 14:29
  • And make no mistake, this takes lots of work. If you understand the process, the process sounds like fun and you are committed...you can do this, too. This takes years...hours per week. No immediate gratification for sure. – stormy Jun 15 '14 at 5:15

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