The Tree Circus was opened in 1947 by Axel Erlandson after he visited “The Mystery Spot” in Santa Cruz, California. Erlandson decided that if the people lined up and paid to see “The Mystery Spot” he could make some cash showcasing
the odd trees he had been cultivating for several years. He bought a patch of land in Scotts Valley, California, and began moving his most bizarre and interesting trees to that location. The Tree Circus never produced millions for Erlandson, one of his best years he made a mere $320. However, Erlandson’s trees were popular among the Ripley’s Believe it Or Not! circuit, being featured in Ripley’s publication 12 times.
Upon Erlandson’s death, the owner of Gilroy Gardens in Gilroy, California, purchased the trees and had them moved to his theme park. 24 of the trees can be found there today.
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