Ivy Creeping over a classic water feature – garden installed & maintained by Plant Specialists

I know … it kinda sounds like a devious something or other – or an injection you get from an evil looking nurse with a foot long syringe – eeek ….

Enough of that – Its not !( phew ) – it’s when trunks or branches (sometimes roots) grow together and bond or merge into each other.  This biological oddity is actually used as the basis for the process of grafting – it is less common in nature.

A natural occurrence of trunks growing together

Aside from grafting, the most widely used form in ornamental horticulture is in the merging of fruit trees to produce Belgian Fences as well as in Pleaching of trees to form a large hedge.


A row of Apples inosculated to form what is known as a Belgium fence – at Plant Specialists we often use this to add divided ( but naturally divided ) areas on a terrace.
Grafted branches on this row of trees create a spectacular line leading the eye to the horizon.
A pleached row of trees form a lovely hedge

At Plant Specialists, our Landscape Design team has used both of these inosculated plants in gardens.  They are a magnificent addition and a significant point of conversation for any garden. Our Garden Care team of horticulturists have worked on many of these examples in gardens and are well trained in their special pruning needs.

The grafting of branches together has also led many horticulturists to become sculptors !!!  Botanical artists have been using live trees to form fantasy shapes and figures in nature since the mid 1700’s. Its called Arborsculpture.

My favorites (1) Axel Erlandson https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Axel_Erlandson – see his basket tree below !

And (2) Richard Reams    http://www.arborsmith.com/

“Bike in Tree” by Richard Reams ( I guess ET might not have made it home after all ! )

Inosculation Rules !!!

This article was put together by Peter Morris – our in house Horticulturalist