tree shaping bridge

Tree Shaping: Lifetime Collaboration or Savage Coercion?

I came across a post by Msonofloki on Minds that asks why instead cutting down trees for lumber don’t we shape trees into the structures we want and need.

An intriguing question, no?

Years ago, I looked into various tree shaping projects. Some projects were modern, using robotics to gently turn the trees as they grow. Others ancient, such as living bridges building in India. But I had never thought to compare these to the timber industry. When you think of plants as persons, they all bring up conflicting ethical concerns. 

In one, you bend a plant to your will. The plant is alive while you do it, so it is possible to consciously ask the plant for permission to co-create a structure as ki grows.

In the other, you kill the plant for your use. Again, done consciously, you could ask if the tree wanted to give ki’s life. Once given, the lumber is no longer alive, though. And yet, as I talk about in ReConnect with the Plant Kingdom, death does not carry the same emotion for plants as it does for humans.

hmmm… quite a conundrum. I would love to hear your thoughts on tree shaping vs lumber.

Below is a repost of Msonofloki’s original post.

Read this discussion about Tree Shaping with an open mind and heart

Is it better to kill or bend? Can either one or both be done ethically and in collaboration with the plant? Leave a comment or be a part of the discussion in the Naturally Conscious Community.

Example of Tree Shaping

One of the regrettable things that we still haven’t found a way to avoid.

Has been the fact that we have to sacrifice a large number of trees to produce the lumber to make our homes. Thousands upon thousands of trees are cut down each day. To produce lumber for the things we need. Furniture, decking, housing, and even vehicles that sail the seas. I’m also not against the logging of any kind. I’m just looking for a more practical solution to individual problems. Now if all of us could have affordable access to this material. It wouldn’t be so bad.

However, the vast majority of apartments and houses are being built today. Nearly none of us can afford it. Even renting the structures has gone beyond her ability to afford one. Anything else beyond this statement would be political. And I am more than done with that.

To avoid that road. How can we take existing trees or new trees and change them in our homes for us without killing them? There is one technique that you can use or more exactly two techniques.

One is called tree shaping.

This has to be done when the tree is a sapling. You take a large weight and tie it to certain parts of the tree. To make this process more seamless try to build a scaffold that holds the shape you want. As long as the tree can get plenty of sunlight and nutrients this technique shouldn’t hurt them too much. As the tree grows and gets larger the natural arch you’ve created could be used to make your next home.

The other technique is still shaping the tree by making more complex shapes. It’s called splicing. It’s a devilish symbol you take two parts of the tree cutter notch and each one behind the two parts of the tree together and just leaves it to grow. Plant 12 of these trees then the tops of the saplings together splice them tape them up.

Then just let them grow for a decade or so. The result will be a dome. You could also call it a yurt if you wanted to. You can then weave a lattice to form the walls. I’ve also seen people make chairs in this fashion. They take four trees band and splice the branches together. Forming a natural chair. Then they just let the trees grow back and splice them once more.

With this particular process, you’re not cutting down forests you’re reshaping them to suit our needs. There are a lot of problems with tree shaping processes. They’re not as straightforward as they sound and you’ve had other natural issues to deal with. But it is a solution that’s being looked into for practical reasons.

Also, keep in mind most trees take decades to reach the heights we need for lumber. Can you imagine how long it would take them to grow into homes? In a lot of ways, I think this might be an interesting solution for people with a great deal of patience. I don’t see tree shaping as being a very profitable venture. So I highly doubt anyone will adopt this on a large scale. But for certain people, this might be a more practical solution if you got a lot of lands.

I actually like the idea of planting a forest and making homes in the trees. This would also make one hell of a greenhouse.

In the end, it’s just a crazy idea that might have fruit that we can all afford…

Build Yourself Today a Better Future…

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