How to build a bottle tree from rebar
The Gardeners Guide To Bottle Trees
Wine bottle trees are hot in garden decor right now and it’s no wonder why. They are a beautiful way to introduce garden art to any landscape. Bottle trees make a nice focal point, adding vertical color and interest. I especially love the way the colored bottles glimmer in the morning and evening sunlight. They even have a somewhat interesting history, read on to find out more…
Some Bottle Tree History & Lore
The history of bottle trees is a bit mysterious and complicated. Their origins can be traced all the way back to Arabia over three thousand years ago with superstitions of genies in-a-bottle.
This could have been the origins of later cultures in Africa and Europe that believed dark spirits can be trapped in glass bottles.
Long ago, bottle trees were made by placing bottles upside down on the branches of dead trees. You may find some in the countryside that are still made this way.
Bottle trees today are more commonly made with a metal frame (usually being rebar or copper pipe) or a simple 4×4 with nails long enough to hold wine bottles.
Any wine, beer, or liquor bottle will work. Cobalt blue bottles are very popular. You can often find very attractive glass liquid soap dispensers at homeware retailers. Vintage green wine bottles with the labels on are also very popular, another great choice is to use a variety of different shapes and color bottles.
If you enjoy beer, Bud light platinum is sold in cobalt blue bottles. A 12-pack is less than $15. Some people have been known to give their wedding day wine bottles a new purpose by memorializing them on a bottle tree.
Rebar Bottle Trees
Rebar is very durable and relatively easy to work with. No welding is necessary if you use metal collar ties. Don’t like the rust color? Clean the rebar with sandpaper and a cloth, then apply black or brown spray paint before placing bottles on the tree.
For bottle trees, use ⅜ to ½ inch rebar. For a detailed tutorial on rebar bottle trees click here.
Bottle trees in the landscape really stand out in the snow.
Wooden Post Bottle Trees
These are the easiest to make yourself. One of the added benefits of using a square 4×4 or a round wooden post is that the ‘trunk’ of these bottle trees can support an almost unlimited number of bottles.
Use very long nails driven in at an angle or drill holes into the post to receive wooden dowel rods, then dig a hole 1 ½ to 2-foot diameter, insert post into the hole, then pour concrete into the hole.
Bottle trees on wooden posts also make a nice trellis to grow annual vines onto.
Wine Bottle Sunflower Plants
This is an interesting twist on the original bottle trees you find out there. Replace one or more “sunflowers” on a few of the branches where you would normally place a bottle. Using green bottles for leaves adds to the desired sunflower effect. I would use the more realistic looking silk sunflowers from craft stores rather than the plastic ones shown above.
Copper Pipe Bottle Trees
Copper is very versatile so that you can make almost any kind of bottle tree or bottle bush in any shape you can imagine. However, as a material, it doesn’t come very cheap (I’ll show you a way to get a similar look to copper but not as expensive below). I like the way copper patinas over time. It’s worth the added cost in my opinion.
One good thing to know about working with copper as garden art is that you don’t have to solder any of the joints! Hardware stores sell adhesive products made specifically to join copper pipes and fittings together without soldering. These adhesives can hold up to 500 pounds per square inch in 5 hours after bonding.
For strength, use at least ½-inch or greater diameter pipe or tubing. You will also need a pipe cutting tool and a pipe bending spring. When bending copper pipe in a smooth-arc shape, the pipe will tend to crease and kink in one spot. A pipe bending spring prevents the pipe from bending too much in one spot so that you will not get a crease.
For a full tutorial on how to make a bottle tree with copper (pictured below), click here.
The Cheaper-Than-Copper Method
The cheaper-than-copper bottle tree frame.
To save on materials, pvc can be used in place of copper. After assembly, the pvc is sprayed with a metallic copper paint. Read the full tutorial here.
Preparing A Base
You could just drive a rebar or copper pipe tree into the ground but this may not be stable in the wind after the weight of a few wine bottles are added. After all, you don’t want to possibly break the bottles leaving you with broken glass everywhere.
For a patio bottle tree, choose a good sized container or planter, then after you place the bottle tree inside the planter and fill halfway with gravel or all the way to the top. The other half can be filled with potting soil and plants if desired.
If you are using either a tall bottle tree or you plan to place more than 6 or 7 bottles on the tree, a poured concrete base is the safest option.
Lighted Bottle Trees
Lighting a bottle tree adds drama and interest at night. For lighting a bottle tree, you have a couple of options:
- String a strand or two of some Christmas lights around the branches and inside the bottles.
- Use landscape lighting at the base of the tree pointing up towards the bottles.
Patio-Container Bottle Trees
If your home-owners association is a little fussy about placing a bottle tree right out in the front yard, the backyard is always an option!
Alternatively, a patio bottle tree is a more subdued version of the bottle tree that might not scream at your neighbors.
For you non-do-it-yourselfers out there, bottle tree frames (without the bottles) and colored bottle collections from cobalt blue to many assorted colors and shapes are available on Amazon. I’m not aware of any major retailers that sell bottle trees.
More On Wine & Glass Bottles In The Landscape:
I’d like to thank Felder Rushing for most of the historical research. I learned quite a bit about bottle trees from him. Felder has documented and captured great images of bottle trees from his travels around the world.
He wrote a very interesting book if you would like to know more about bottle trees or you would love to have a great new coffee table book, I definitely recommend it. You can buy it on Amazon by clicking here.
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DIY Bottle Tree - C.R.A.F.T.
Home » Garden Crafts » DIY Bottle Tree
By Jamie Dorobek 33 Comments
Welcome to my parents backyard! Yep, that’s a 10 foot bottle tall tree made out of different diameters of steel round rod complete with colored bottles my mom collected from friends and a few she purchased from the internet. You can buy steel round rod at a local steel supply store. According to my dad, you can not buy steel round rod at the big box hard ware stores.
My mom does big crafts (glass block shower wall, etched glass cabinets, USA license plate map) and this steel tree is no different… well except that my mom did not actually make it herself. It was her vision and persistence that got the project complete, but a family friend did the actual welding of the steel. My mom and I were first intrigued with bottle trees after a trip to a plant nursery in Independence, Texas called the Antique Rose Emporium.
Here are a few pics I found on the ol’ internet of bottle trees at the Antique Rose Emporium:
Upon closer inspection of the Antique Rose Emporium bottle trees you will notice that the these bottle trees are real cedar trees, and the bottles are simply placed on a dead branch.
The roses are pretty and smell yummy, but as a kid I remember the Antique Rose Emporium for the bottle trees, funky art, and this picture of a potted archway.
It turns out the idea of a bottle tree has been around since glass bottles were invented. According to this site, that was in 1600 BC in Egypt and Mesopotamia. As the story goes, people believed the whir of the wind through a bottle was the sound of spirits trapped inside. (Remember Aladdin?) Naturally, the next step is to put a cap on the bottle trapping the bad spirits inside, which of course, were then destroyed by the light of a sunny day (who knew vampires used to be so small :). So, people kept bottles by their entryways to protect their home from evil spirits, and the bottle tree was born.
I actually bought my mom a bottle brush tree for Mother’s Day a few years ago, thinking that would suffice her bottle tree fixation. Although the tree I got her did not look like this…
It was about 1/20th the size with only 5 twiggy limbs. The tree had a tragic soccer ball to the head (branches) and never recovered. My mom decided a real tree could not live in that spot and thought a steel tree would be perfect. (There have a been a few broken bottles, but those are fairly easily replaced!) My family thinks our backyard is a soccer field.
Here was my mom’s inspiration tree. This tree was created by a Mississippi artist named Stephanie Dwyer.
And here is the DIY bottle tree beauty in our backyard…
*That brick wall is used as a soccer goal. You can see why the tree needs to be super sturdy!
A close up of her carefully crafted branches:
My mom and her bottle tree…
My mom’s tree is about 10 feet tall and holds 60 bottles. She estimates that it cost about $300 for materials. $150 for the metal and $150 for the colored bottles. The clear and green ones are just old wine bottles she collected from friends. You can buy vintage glass bottles on Amazon for $2.95 each. Here is an orange glass bottle ,turquoise bottle, and a purple bottle. $300 sounds expensive, but honestly, this style of bottle tree is hard to even find for sale. I have a feeling that shipping would be tricky since this sucker doesn’t come in pieces. Here is a super, simple bottle tree from Amazon. It only holds 10 bottles, but still keeps those spirit away and gives off the glow!
What do you think of the bottle tree as yard art? It certainly adds a colorful sparkle to the backyard. It’s fun to look at, sturdy, and a great way to recycle those used wine bottles! Do you have yard art in your garden? Have you ever thought about DIY-ing a bottle tree? If you’re in the market for a DIY bottle tree and have any more questions, I am happy to answer more questions or most likely ask my parents… e-mail me at craftaway (at) gmail (dot) com.
Filed Under: Garden Crafts
Business on your site. Weaving living trees or "northern palms" from willow
Home » My site
More useful articles in the source Go to the author's channel The technology of planting and weaving a living fence a topic about the creation of willow hedges was started. Moreover, this does not take years - a living wicker fence is created (takes root) in one year and immediately the height you need.
But hedges are not the only thing that can be made (grown) from cuttings, willow shoots. You can weave such tree trunks that will look like palm trees:
Do this. Willow shoots (cuttings) are harvested in wild thickets of the same length and thickness. Let's say 2 m. One tree needs 42 cuttings (7 bunches of 6 rods) . You need to grow them. To do this, put the shoots in the water for 4-5 days and control the growth of the roots. Roots should sprout 1 mm (white buds). It is impossible to germinate longer - they will break off when planting.
Next, fill the empty container with earth with humus (bucket, 10 l paint can) and stick the cuttings around the perimeter. Shoots can be pre-cut at the end (refresh the cut). Next, we twist the shoots of three rods in this form:
You need to weave in layers, turning the bucket. We fix the branches intertwined with each other on each layer with ropes or clothespins (second slide). When the weaving is finished, we twist the top of the head with a thin shoot of willow or just with jute ropes (third slide).
The tree needs to be watered frequently. Willow loves water and a wicker tree needs to take root, take root. After the buds climb and the leaves hatch, the trunk needs to be bare from them. This will generally need to be done every season. Also: you can plant (weave) such trees from spring to mid-July. Later, the root system may not get stronger, it will not have time before frost.
If you do not have time to sell such trees, then there is a risk that in winter the roots will freeze in the bucket. In winter, trees need to be kept warm, but not higher than +5 gr. (like the roots of perennial, but heat-loving flowers).
How wicker willow trees look, as well as the appearance of living arches and hedges, can be assessed in this video: https://youtu. be/LcrpTvYRH54
Separately, you can select a bottle tree from willow shoots:
To create it, you need a frame of reinforcement, along which shoots are bent in a spiral (fixed). A master class on weaving it here: https://youtu.be/Bitibt3194k
If there are thickets of wild willow near you, then you can make a lot of such wicker trees for sale in the spring. I think there will be many people who want to purchase such trees for their site (and even more than one). Because they look, though unusual, but harmonious. It is enough to put up a similar tree with a sign “for sale” near your site, as those who are interested will be found on the same day.
If you watch the videos on the Russkaya Iva channel, you can see that the author of the project built a huge greenhouse for knitting trees, she planted a willow plantation (apparently, on wetland rented from the state). And she uses only her material. I believe that it is possible, if desired, to create in the suburbs of any city the same scale of entrepreneurial activity on weaving living trees and hedges from willow.
These are not all ideas. In the next article, we will talk about the creation of living arbors and arches from wicker willow.
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Unpretentious exotic plants perfectly adapted to life in the harsh conditions of Africa, America and Australia. The bottle tree is a bright representative of species that calmly endure a dry climate and lack of moisture in areas where rain is a rarity. There are also domestic miniature copies of such trees.
What is a bottle tree?
A traveler who has seen a plant at least once in his life, the trunk of which resembles a capacious vessel, will not confuse it with any other. The question of whether a small bottle tree exists is of concern to many lovers of the exotic. Bokarneya or nolina is the name of an unusual spectacular perennial belonging to the dracaena family. The heterogeneous surface of the plant stem resembles the skin of an elephant, for which it is also called the "elephant tree". At home, the size of the bokarney can reach 10 m and above; in room conditions, the largest specimens grow up to 2 m.
What does a bottle tree look like?
A distinctive feature of the nolina is the trunk, which has a thickening in the lower part. Under natural conditions, this bottle shape helps to accumulate moisture, which is necessary for survival in dry areas. The long, curved leaves of a dark green bokarney grow in a hat, resembling a horse's tail. In the wild, they are used to weave baskets and hats - they are very durable. An indoor bottle tree will not grow to a huge size, as in its homeland, in the southern regions of America. Numerous types of plants can decorate any interior.
Characteristics of the bottle tree
At home, the bottle tree does not bloom, but lovers of unusual plants are happy to grow it. The characteristics of the nolina are amazing:
- The stem expanding downwards resembles an ancient vessel in shape. This part has a scientific name - caudex, and is intended for the natural accumulation of moisture.
- The unusual structure of the cortex looks like a cork, its task is to collect liquid. Some experts are sure that the peculiarity of the bottle tree is to absorb harmful impurities from the air.
- Long and narrow leaves grow from the center of the tree and fall down, they can be cut to give the crown a different shape.
Indoor bottle trees
Several types of bottle trees are suitable for indoor cultivation. To know their differences and features is necessary for all lovers of exotic plants.
- Beaucarney Parry has a tall stem and is suitable for growing in spacious rooms with high ceilings. Serrated leaves grow from a rosette that can split in two if deformed.
- " Guatemalan tail " is the name given to a homemade bottle tree with a lush crown. Some varieties of this variety are distinguished by striped leaves.
- Beakerney thin doesn't really live up to its name. Its trunk looks like a huge pear, deepened into the ground. The pattern on the bark resembles a turtle shell.
- Bent beaker does not grow more than 50 cm. This plant can become an excellent interior decoration, the leaves of which can be twisted into a spiral, and the trunk takes bizarre shapes.
- Standard nolina grows very slowly, and at first its trunk looks like a hemisphere. Over time, it evens out and resembles a thick bottle with a narrow neck.
How to plant a bottle tree from seed?
It is possible to grow bokarnia from seeds if you try hard enough. The main problem for this is the purchase of seed. Under artificial conditions, the plant does not bloom, and it is impossible to wait for fruits from it. Many online stores for gardeners offer to purchase nolina flower seeds. By following simple instructions, you can grow an exotic tree at home.
- The best time for planting bocarnea seeds is the end of February - the beginning of March.
- Seeds should be soaked in a light manganese solution, left for a few days and those that sink to the bottom should be selected for planting.
- The tree container should be filled with soil and lightly moistened.
- Seeds do not need to be planted deep and covered with earth, they should be scattered over the surface of a pot or box and covered with foil.
- The greenhouse must be regularly ventilated, the film can be removed after emergence.
- The most favorable temperature for seed germination is +22-270°C.
- A few weeks after planting, seedlings should appear, transplanting can be done when the plants have 3 leaves.
Soil for the bottle tree
An important condition for the growth of bokarney is the right composition of the soil. For its preparation, it is necessary to mix peat and sand in equal proportions. Some gardeners recommend holding a pot of prepared soil for nolina in a steam bath for half an hour before planting. This method helps to destroy any microorganisms and insect larvae that may be in the soil. Good drainage is a necessary condition so that the bottle tree does not get sick, it does not tolerate stagnant moisture. The bottom of the pot should be filled with gravel or stones in advance.
Bottle tree - home care
Like any houseplant, nolina needs constant care. Many people like to breed unpretentious indoor species, which include not capricious bokarney, caring for it does not require special knowledge and skills, but if you forget about the tree, it will quickly die. In order for the plant to please with its amazing shapes and bright crown, it is worth remembering the three necessary conditions, the fulfillment of which guarantees a healthy perennial. Bottle tree needs:
- regular feeding;
- correct watering;
- timely pruning.
Bottle Tree Fertilizer
Bocarnea grows very slowly and, unlike other indoor perennials, does not need frequent fertilization. The bottle tree is a succulent, and it loves feeding complexes specially selected for these plant species. In the summer, when the plant actively absorbs nutrients, it can be fertilized with liquid special compounds "Agrekol" and "Flower Paradise". The bottle house tree responds well to dry mixes "Master" and "Agricola". Water the plant with fertilizers once every 3 weeks.
How to water a bottle tree?
Beakerney and water are not true friends, the plant is indifferent to moisture. Liquid in large quantities can damage the strong but delicate trunk of the nolina, caring for this tree has its own characteristics. In summer, watering the plant should be carried out no more than once a week, and in winter - with an interval of 10 days. Best of all, a bottle house tree tolerates a submersible watering method. The flower pot must be placed in a container of water and left for half an hour. The leaves of the plant can be wiped with a damp cloth, it is not necessary to spray them.
How to prune a bottle tree?
Botanists disagree on whether to cut off the green part of the nolina. No professional pruning is required for a houseplant bottle tree. Sanitary care for him includes carefully cutting off the dry tips of the leaves, without touching their living part. In order for the plant to release additional shoots from dormant buds, some experts advise pruning the top of the tree. This must be done under the supervision of experienced professionals - errors in the process can threaten the tree with death.
How to transplant a bottle tree?
If the roots of a bottle tree have filled the pot and the plant has stopped growing, this is a sure sign that it needs to be repotted. General recommendations for transplanting bokarney are once every 3 years for adults and once a year for young trees. The new pot should be 3-4 cm larger than the old one. The root system of the plant develops to the sides, so the capacity for it should be shallow, but wide and stable. The rules for transplanting a bottle tree are simple:
- 1/3 of the pot must be filled with drainage.
- Pour specially prepared soil mixture into a container.
- When transplanting, it is imperative to observe the level of deepening of the caudex - it is necessary to plant a tree at the same level.
- It is impossible to water the plant immediately after transplantation, do it for the first time in 3-4 days.
How to propagate the bottle tree?
You can get young bottle tree seedlings in two ways - from seeds and by planting lateral shoots. For breeding nolina, the second method is more suitable, in which it is necessary to carefully cut off the young lateral processes with a sharp and clean knife. They should be planted in a nutrient mixture and covered with a film, creating a greenhouse effect. Under all conditions, the bottle tree will quickly take root:
- It should be warm in the room where the seedlings are located - the required air temperature for the rapid growth of the tree is about +25°C.
- Shoots need good lighting and regular spraying.
- From time to time the greenhouse should be ventilated.
- If new leaves appear on the seedling, then the tree has taken root.
Diseases of the bottle tree
Like any houseplant, bokarneya can get sick. An attentive owner will definitely notice the first signs of malaise and take emergency measures so that the nolin bottle tree will please with its appearance for a long time.
- Thinning and elongation of the trunk occurs when the soil is too wet.
- After hibernation, the trunk of the nolina is wrinkled, this disappears with time.
- The lower leaves of the plant regularly fall off and wither, this is considered part of the life cycle of the bottle tree.
- Dry tips on the leaves - a sign of drying out of the plant.
- The caudex, which is considered the hallmark of the nolina, can be developed by providing the tree with bright light and a transition from dormancy to summer growth.
- Yellowing and dying of foliage - a sign of pest damage to the tree. You can get rid of scale insects, spider mites and thrips using folk methods (soapy water) and special professional tools (Karbofos).
How to reanimate a bottle tree?
A bottle tree may need emergency assistance in several cases. Experts call the wrinkling and drying of the plant trunk, the appearance of wounds on it, the most alarming symptom. The bokarney flower may die if urgent action is not taken. Resuscitation of the plant should be carried out in several stages.
- The tree must be dug up and the root system carefully examined.
- If it shows signs of damage, prepare a new soil mixture for succulents and transplant using Zircon or Kornevin root preparations.
- Be sure to reduce watering - provide moisture after the earthen clod is completely dry.
- Trunk wounds can be treated with charcoal or Cumulus or Maxim. The product must be crushed and powdered in the right place.
- If the disease is advanced and a hole forms in the trunk, the bottle tree cannot be saved.
Bottle tree - interesting facts
The amazing shape of the bottle tree attracts attention. It is equally interesting to learn some facts about nolina, bokarnee or elephant foot.
- Smokeeater is another name given to wood for its ability to absorb gas and smoke.
- To make a sombrero in Mexico, nolina leaves are harvested in advance.