The Manzanita tree grows in the Western regions of the United States, most notably in California. The Manzanita belongs to the genus Arctostaphylos. Some Manzanita species are among the rarest in the world.
At one time, the Manzanita grew wild in San Francisco’s historic Presidio military base, which dates back to 1776. In 1883, Major William Jones ordered the planting of 100,000 non-native pine trees, cypress and eucalyptus in the Presidio to surround the Manzanita and the natural sand dunes.
One species of Manzanita, called the Presidio Manzanita, is the most endangered and restricted plant on the entire mainland United States. By 1987, one remained at an anonymous location in San Francisco’s Presidio.
There are about 60 to 70 other species of Manzanita growing elsewhere, from British Columbia in Canada south to central Mexico. They prefer hilly slopes and well-drained soil.
Manzanita is often called “mountain driftwood” because its branches and trunk look like the wood is sculpted by ocean waves. The name in Spanish means “little apple,” and the Manzanita tree fruits a bright red berry, which resembles a tiny apple.
Manzanita trunks and branches are often used in decoration or in aquariums for their intricate shapes and hardiness of wood. Manzanita trunks support these gnarled branches, which have smooth, naturally reddish wood underneath shredded bark. If the wood is exposed to sunlight, the color can be bleached out – again, hence the nickname “mountain driftwood.”
Plantworks master tree builders discovered years ago that Manzanita trunks could be transformed into the most beautiful and unique permanent trees and bonsai. The rich colors of the wood and one-of-a-kind shapes make them perfect natural building materials for our plant art and artificial trees.
Our harvesters cut huge branches off the tops of living trees, some of which grow to over 30 feet tall. Often these branches are art to themselves. They can be foliated with dozens of artificial leaf choices to build a personal tree just for you.
In addition to Manzanita trunks, our bonsai trunks can also be made with grapevine trunk, rough oak and all hardwoods. Plantworks can help you showcase permanent bonsai accents from tabletop size to 14 foot free standing . where ever you choose to showcase these works of plant art.
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The Manzanita tree is a lovely specimen found in nature, and whether you live in the West or elsewhere, you can enjoy its beauty, colors and shapes. Plantworks transforms Manzanita trunks into functional, completely new forms of artificial plants and trees.