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Re: [aroid-l] Artificial Trees

  • Subject: Re: [aroid-l] Artificial Trees
  • From: Adam Black epiphyte1@earthlink.net
  • Date: Tue, 07 Jan 2003 00:06:12 -0500

Hi Harry,

I made mine based on how Fairchild has theirs constructed- with pieces of corkbark affixed to an armature. Theirs is shaped like a tree (branches coming out of a trunk), but mine are just more or less hanging horizontal branches that are forked and bent into natural shapes. I make them long enough so they span the width of my greenhouse, all going in different directions so they criss-cross, weave over and under, etc. I don't have an artificial "trunk" holding these branches up. They are constructed out of thick heavy PVC pipe with joints and "T"s used to give a natural shape, which cork bark rounds and curved slabs covering the pipe. The whole branch is therefore hollow, and I run a length of cable through it and hang it from the greenhouse frame. I make sure to leave some gaps between the cork panels, as these are good sites to fit plants in, while other epiphytes can be wrapped on with fishing line, glued on (Tillandsias), or even nailed on (larger stoloniferous bromeliads). Use some sphagnum moss around plant root that you wrap with line and keep it damp to give them a good start. After adding in the specimen plants, I always like to cover the remaining bare areas with other creeping or spreading "filler plants", such as small Peperomias, Dischidias, mosses, ferns, small orchids, etc. for a more natural look. After a while, you will not even see the joints between the cork panels, and various other plants will grow up and cover the cables, and vining types can be encouraged to spread from branch to branch. Together with long pendant epiphytes hanging down through several levels of branches, upright epiphytes reaching up through the "canopy", and tall terrestrials growing up through the tangle, this helps tie everything together, and is a much better way to get the full enjoyment of growing tropical plants in a more natural manner than in a pot. It also saves a lot of space in the greenhouse, utilizing the overhead space to its fullest. I also use cypress branches (resistant to rot for quite a while) here and there to get a some variation in branch size, since it is difficult to "create" smaller branches approaching twig proportions. These smaller branches are the best places to put smaller Tillandsias and orchids, as well as drape with spanish "moss" Tillandsia usneoides. Good luck and use your imagination.

Adam Black

P.S.: Harry, I am still interested in trading plants with you - I'll get back to you.

Harry Witmore wrote:

I just received my Orchids monthly magazine and there is an article on creating an artificial tree in it. I wondered, does anyone on this list have any experience with doing something like this and if so, what process did you use. I have a small (8'wx6'lx12'h) greenhouse that I want to place an epiphyte tree in and would like to make it artificial so it will not rot.


Harry Witmore
Zone 7 NC
Cloud Jungle Art <http://www.witmore.net/>
Epiphytes.Org <http://www.epiphytes.org/>
Cloud Jungle ePiphytes <http://www.cloudjungle.com/eshop>

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