Finland's Tree Mountain is covered in 11,000 hand-planted trees arranged in a huge swirling pattern.

Tree Mountain Is Covered in 11,000 Hand-Planted Trees Arranged in a Huge Swirling Pattern

Tree Mountain Is Covered in 11,000 Hand-Planted Trees Arranged in a Huge Swirling Pattern

Atlas Obscura
Your Guide to the World's Hidden Wonders
Aug. 7 2015 3:26 PM

The Unnatural Symmetry of Tree Mountain

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While the pointed hill in Ylöjärvi, Finland, known as Tree Mountain looks like an oddly symmetrical natural forest, it is actually a colossal work of man-made art that is said to be protected for the next few hundred years.

Proposed in 1982, the hill itself had to be built before the swirling rows of trees could be planted. Once the land itself was built, the artist, Agnes Denes, enlisted 11,000 people from all across the globe to plant 11,000 in a specifically designed pattern. The pattern itself was designed to evoke ancient artworks as well as the mathematical precision found in many of the works of the painting masters.


The planting took place over four years, from 1992 to 1996. With everything set to roll, the artist then let nature do its thing. The trees flourished on the reclaimed land, and by the early 2000s the intricate pattern was beginning to show itself as though it had occurred naturally.

The environmental art project is slated to be a 400-year installation, although there does not seem to be a plan to raze the land when the time is up. In fact, it looks like the trees could last far beyond that date. The forest has continued to thrive over the years and is now so lush that the original pattern can barely be discerned.

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Eric Grundhauser is a head writer and editor at Atlas Obscura. He lives in Brooklyn with his comic book collection. Follow him on Twitter.