I know right, these weird shaped trees have Photoshop written all over them. However I can assure you they are totally real, living trees!
As a hobby — the Frankensteinian, bean farmer — Axel Erlandson shaped trees and called them “Circus Trees.” He was very secretive on how he managed to pull of this bizarre feat and carried out his work behind screens to protect his secrets from spies. When Erlandson died in 1964 his eleborate efforts to take his secret to the grave seemed to have paid off, as nobody has been able to recreate his bizarre work ever since.
The trees were later bought by millionaire Michael Bonfante, who transplanted them to his amusement park Gillroy Gardens in 1985, where you can still see them today.
Weird Shaped Trees © Axel Erlandson