Robert Bloom

Ever wonder how trees inside casinos, malls, hospitals, and museums stay vibrant? A diligent maintenance staff is one reason; another is that the tree is an amazingly realistic fake. Since its first installation at Macy’s in 1983, NatureMaker has been causing double takes with its handcrafted Steel Art Trees. The studio hand sculpts and paints the botanically accurate, steel-framed trees down to every last knot or scar from a lightning strike. Ordering the custom-made trees begins with a consultation to determine the tree species desired and method of support that will be used. The company can build the trees to encase building columns or stand independently. The sculptures have several advantages over their living counterparts, including low maintenance and fire-resistance. Depending on their size and complexity, the steel trees can take between four months and several years to complete. •