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How to Shape Your Artificial Tree

If you’ve ever ordered an artificial plant or tree, you know they don’t look exactly like they did in the pictures at the time you ordered them. That’s because artificial plants and trees almost always require some shaping before they’re ready for display. If you receive your tree or plant and it’s compacted in a vertical arrangement, with branches bent upward, don’t panic. We’re going to show you just how easy it is to whip it into shape in a matter of minutes.

1. Begin by fully unpacking and unwrapping your tree, removing any staples or ties used to pack it for shipping. Here is a photo of a typical ficus tree as it appears upon delivery:

2. Some branches may have become twisted during shipping. Start by untwisting them into the correct position

3. Once branches are facing right side up, start pulling the branches down, starting at the base of the tree. Hold each branch near the trunk of the tree with one hand to support the branch, while bending and shaping the branch with your other hand. Once you have the main stem of the branch in place, you can shape the smaller twigs on that branch and position the leaves. Branches should curve upwards slightly, in the same way those of living plants and trees do.

shaping your tree

4. Work your way to the top of your tree or plant, pushing each layer of branches downward. They should stay put without much effort.

5. Once you’ve reached the top, take a few steps back to identify any gaps. Arrange branches to fill any holes.

Remember, it is easier to bend branches slowly, a little bit at a time, than to aggressively bend your branches into place. One at time, hold your branches firmly in hand, and bend them only slightly. Repeat until you’ve bent every branch, and step back to check your results. If more adjusting is required, repeat the process. But go slow!

Here is the same ficus shown above, after it’s been shaped:

Your tree should now be ready for display. Over time, branches will fall even further into place, cementing the natural appearance you’re after.

About Philip Travers