News & Opinion

Landscaping Idea: Build a Tree Church


“Church Planting” Takes on a Whole New Meaning For New Zealand Man

Set on three acres in Ohuapo, New Zealand, the Tree Church and Garden offer church and garden enthusiasts a quiet and contemplative space to appreciate the beauty and structure of a living, breathing church. It began as a passion project for Barry Cox, who has always been interested in both trees and church architecture. In 2007, he decided to construct his own living church, which, to this day, is thought to be the first in the world.

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About the Tree Church

The attraction started as Cox’s private garden, but in 2015, he felt persuaded to open it up to the public. It now provides a relaxing retreat from, well, normal life. It includes the gardens, a labyrinth walk, and of course, the Tree Church itself, which was fashioned by bending trees around a metal frame.

Cox constructed the Tree Church from various tree species, including Cut Leaf Alder, Copper Sheen, Camelia Black Tie, Acer Globosum, and Thuja Pyramidalis. The garden, which is spread across the three-acre spread, includes a selection of Oaks, Maples, Alders, Gingkos, Beech, Poplars, and Taxodium. Though work on creating the gardens was started in 2007, they have an established feel due to Cox transplanting mature trees using a tree spade.

It now serves as both a tourist attraction as well as a popular venue for weddings and events. The Tree Church itself can seat up to 100 people, while another outdoor seating area can seat up to 60 people undercover.

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Keep Calm

The aim of the Tree Church and Garden is to provide a place of quiet and calm contemplation, and they ask that all visitors observe the area with the same sort of respect that they would with any other church. They don’t allow dogs or smoking, and children under 12 need permission from the management prior to their visit. Picnics are welcomed, but no food is allowed into the actual church.

For more information about the Tree Church, as well as booking information, check out the website by clicking here.

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