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A Table Shaped Tree

If I wanted to grow a tree into the shape of a table, i.e. tall straight trunk and a large horizontal disk shaped canopy, what should I go for? Especially if I wanted to grow a particularly large tree table. I know that I could do something with box or similar, but I'm wondering if there is something more naturally this shape that would need less adjustment from its natural form. It might be useful for providing natural shade in urban areas where vandalism is common and a nice straight cover could be applied to protect the trunk, but also I would like one for my garden as a semi ornamental giant(s) table. Happy to grow from seed, can't afford a large garden yet anyways.
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  • HelixHelix 704m altitude...Posts: 631
    Look at images of windblown trees....lots of hawthorn and juniper.  But will take you an long time.  You could find it quicker to shape something like ivy over a frame. 
  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 26,575
    I've seen hornbeam trained with table tops, but nothing I know of grows naturally that way.
    Devon.
  • londonstanlondonstan Posts: 13
    There must be some kind of tree with a naturally flat(ter) canopy?
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 23,432
    There is a horticultural college in Gembloux, Belgium which has a row of these things out the front to show off its skills.  They all have a framework of large canes and battens to support and torture the branches while they "learn" their shape and they all need careful and regular pruning to keep stray shoots under control.

    Not a natural sight in a temperate European setting.   Maybe more usual in the east African savannah where acacias are pruned in a crown-lifting way by giraffes.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • OmoriOmori The NorthPosts: 839
    Japanese Cherry ‘Shirotae’ has a spreading horizontal shape, eventually.  Not sure how many years it takes.
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 35,520
    edited July 2019
    As Omori says - there are a few cherries which have a flattish canopy [there's one not far from here in a Co-op car park]  but you'd be waiting a long time to get one to any size, unless you have a very large budget to buy a mature specimen.
    You'd then need the skill to establish it and keep it thriving.

    You'd be better having a pergola with climbers
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • steephillsteephill Posts: 1,601
    I had a Rhus typhinus (stag's horn) which took that form and looked superb but you won't find many fans for that tree due to its suckering tendency. Mine may have been deer browsed to that shape initially.

    The most common tree I see with that form are ornamental cherries. They look like they are grafted as the branches almost appear to have been cut off then nailed back on horizontally. I am sure it is more complex than that but it is likely to be a slow and expensive job. I saw a street in the suburbs of Brussels which had an avenue of these which looked stunning.
  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 14,897
    There used to be a tree trained as a table, as a local landmark on the Nottingham  to Mansfield road.  I believe it was a hawthorn. It went in a road widening.




    You don't stop doing new things because you get old, you get old because you stop doing new things. <3
  • CeresCeres Posts: 1,906

    If I wanted to grow a tree into the shape of a table, i.e. tall straight trunk and a large horizontal disk shaped canopy, what should I go for? Especially if I wanted to grow a particularly large tree table. I know that I could do something with box or similar, but I'm wondering if there is something more naturally this shape that would need less adjustment from its natural form. It might be useful for providing natural shade in urban areas where vandalism is common and a nice straight cover could be applied to protect the trunk, but also I would like one for my garden as a semi ornamental giant(s) table. Happy to grow from seed, can't afford a large garden yet anyways.
    I'm a bit concerned about the mention of vandalism. Anything out of the ordinary like a table tree would be a magnet for people hell bent on destruction. Trees in such areas are best protected with thorny shrubs like berberis so any table tree, whatever variety, would need a guard of vicious shrubs.
  • londonstanlondonstan Posts: 13
    For clarification it’s a tree that has a flat canopy making it somewhat table shaped and *not* some kind of actual table made from a tree and other parts that I’m interested in growing. I see trees in films of the savanna that have flat canopies as one example. Maybe they need giraffes to keep them that shape?
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