Axel Erlandson was a Swedish-American farmer who started doing something amazing in California in 1901: He started manipulating the trees, bending, pruning, grafting and shaping them into works of art.
His collection of trees (now all grown up) are called the Circus Trees. What started as a private passion for Erlandson turned into his life's work. Bending and breaking branches to his desired shape, Erlandson did something that we didn't even know was possible.
His work sparked a phenomenon in the area, with many newspapers reporting on his peculiar pruning, as well as many people requesting to have one done in their own backyards. You can see some examples of Erlandson's work below.