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Structures Made from Trees, without the Cutting-Down Part

Using trees to make stuff isn’t a new idea…in fact it is one of the oldest. Also not new is the idea of shaping trees into objects. But there is a project underway that puts a whole new twist, literally, on the idea of making structures from trees.

The novelty of it is that the trees will be grown in the shape desired – like the online viagra cheap ultimate topiary, only useful. Researchers from Tel Aviv University and the company Plantware are partnering up to grow structures from trees on a commercial scale – structures including bus shelters, playgrounds, and even houses.

There are already aeroponics pilot projects happening in the US, Australia and Israel, through which trees are grown in the air so that they have shapeable “soft roots.” The project hopes to take the technology to bigger-than-a-bread-box levels, creating sustainable, eco-friendly structures.

It’ll take awhile to see the new technology in action, since trees take awhile to grow, but we will indeed start seeing a few structures like park benches, gates, streetlamps and so forth grown out of trees.

Via physorg; photo via Plantware

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Comments (8)Add Comment
written by Steve N. Lee, August 27, 2008
I love the idea of a 'fantasyland' theme to make the mundane special.

Using tree as building components would not only bring people closer to nature, and thereby encourage an appreciation of it, but it would provide more natural habit for wildlife in our towns and cities. An excellent idea.

However, while plants don't squeal if you step on them by accident the way your pet dog does, they do cialis no prescription needed quick delivery get stressed if their optimum living conditions aren't met. What will manipulating their growing patterns do to stress then and who will it affect their natural growth? Of course, bonzai are manipulated, but I've no idea how the usefull link buy now viagra trees react to it.

A fantasy landscape in our towns is such an excellent.

Steve N. Lee
author of eco-blog
and suspense thriller 'What if...?'
written by begreen, August 27, 2008
too bad the company doesn't look like its particularly active.
written by Brian Green, August 28, 2008
The picture above shows kids playing on a playground made out of trees. Here's a question for you. How do you let kids play on the trees without the bark being scuffed off the trees by the kid's shoes? Should it happen all the way around a tree, they've effectively ringed it, killing it.

Sounds like a great idea, but I'd be careful which structures are made with this technique. I'd also question the waterproofness of a structure made with this system (house mentioned above).
written by Robert Wood, August 28, 2008
Every once in a while I see an idea that just does not make any sense at all. I am a strong supporter of sustainable forestry practices and bringing people closer to nature. Trees are the original playground equipment. Just as they are trees can give years of enjoyment to kids of all ages. Turning them into bendy straws is not an improvement.

“Growing” houses and furniture are great if you intend to spend your life in the Shire with Bilbo but not real practical for life outside the buy cialis online site pages of a Fantasy novel. Other than some interesting works of buy viagra without a prescription art and a few novelty items this idea just does not have a limb to stand on.
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written by Clinch, August 28, 2008
Like the others that have comented so far, I like this idea in concept, but don't see it to be a very practical one, or have widespread uses.

There's also the issue of "post shaped growth", and by that, I mean that the tree continues growing after it has been shaped, but in a way that distorts it/changes its size, in such a way that it loses its desired functionality.

Shaped Circus Trees have been Grown for
written by Not Feasible, September 08, 2008
rown, shaped, trees have been around for decades.

They are whimsical and fun to the best place discount generic cialis look at but without great practical uses. Here is a site for an early tree shaper.

It takes a lot of time and effort to grow shaped trees, often with quite a number of trees and grafting done where features intersect. Hardly a cheap venture with the cost of labor.
Bedroom Furniture
written by Jack Nguyen, October 28, 2008
How about we just purchase furniture that are made from sustainably harvested wood? We're not harming the eco-system, environment, etc when trees are farmed for its sole purpose is to be cut down to be used as furniture.
Love the Idea
written by Darren, December 05, 2011
The idea is perfectly applicable in almost any setting. Trees in nature do very well in general, having enormous lifespans under the right conditions. Even those right conditions are nothing compared to what a perfectly balanced sustainable system of light, fertilization, and pest control could provide. There are species of trees that survive in almost any ecosystem which could be used for almost any purpose, from very large structures to benches. That doesn't even include the potential to bring out perfect genetics for different applications and climates through careful breeding.

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