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Published February 27, 2008 09:31 AM

Tree Blocks: Building imagination with reclaimed trees

While cleaning the kids’ playroom for what must be the umpteenth time today I spied the bag of Tree Blocks that our entire family loves to build with. These unusual building blocks are cut from tree branches and make the most beautiful sculptures, keeping little hands busy for at least long enough for me to get a shower. The “elves” at Tree Blocks identify abandoned or end of productive cycle plots of apple, cherry and hazelnut trees and contact the farmers. They then push the old trees over removing the roots. Tree Blocks bridges and blocks are made from the wood purchased and processed by the “elves.” This leaves the farmer clean soil and seed money, so he can get back into production.

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The big building disks are made form Elder wood derived from managed forests planted on a 50CM grid. A few years go by and every other tree is cut, creating a 1M grid. A few more years go by and every other tree is cut again to leave a 2M grid, ideal for the use of soil to maximize pulp. Also, the growing method leaves straight tall trees with minimal low branches, ideal for processing. Tree Blocks use the “every others” which would otherwise be burned since they’re too small for pulp-making.

Beyond the eco-friendly approach, which should be enough to get your vote, Tree Blocks feel unlike any plastic toy you’ve tripped over lately thanks to the flax oil that finishes each naturally elegant piece. Each set, from the basic blocks to the tree houses, dollhouses, and the little tree folks, is unique and offers endless imaginative variety. What’s more, the “elves” profess that Tree Blocks support successful building and early math and metric system learning.

I’d buy them even if they didn’t. Check it out @ treeblocks.com

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