Ghost Tree: The Tree That Never Lived

It looks like a typical Dogwood tree, but this tree was never alive. Ghost Tree is a 12-foot-tall art piece made from 250-300 single-use plastic water bottles by high school students Taylor Bosworth and Samantha Hofstetter in Bourbon, Missouri. 

Bosworth and Hofstetter created Ghost Tree to raise awareness in their hometown about how plastic pollution harms the environment and local waterways. They used metal rebar for the trunk and branches and then heated and melted the plastic bottles to create the tree bark, flowers, and leaves. 

The tree was installed at Onondaga Cave State Park, where it attracts locals and tourists alike. "The initial response to the tree is curiosity," says Bosworth. "Everyone, all ages, goes up to the tree and has a strange urge to grab and touch it. Typically touching a so-called piece of art is a big no-no, but it's absolutely fabulous. Locals and tourists alike get to interact with the tree physically. When people realize that the tree is made of plastic, they are totally stunned!"