Edinburgh man spends 2,000 hours sculpting '˜head' hedges

These are the amazing photos of three 20ft topiary heads - which a gardener has spent 2,000 hours sculpting and maintaining.

Three topiary heads created by Michael Kaplan in his garden. Picture: SWNS
Three topiary heads created by Michael Kaplan in his garden. Picture: SWNS

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The three Yew Tree heads depict the Easter Island moai statue, a central American Indian Olmec and Corinthian Greek warrior.

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Father-of-one Michael Kaplan, 57, trims the trees six times a year using garden shears and his incredible work has become a hit with locals in the north west of Edinburgh.

Three topiary heads measuring almost 20ft. Picture: SWNS

The front garden Yew Tree was “dying back” because of frost and wind damage, so rather than cutting it down he decided to reinvigorate the sad looking bush.

Married Michael, a vermouth compounder, has spent the last 20 years carving the three heads.

He said: “About 20 years ago the tree started to become diseased and the top had to be cut off.

“They were looking sad and unfortunate and began to sprout at the bottom so rather than having them cut down I thought maybe I would do something about it.

Michael Kaplan tending to the sculptures. Picture: SWNS

“I did abit of research looking at different cultures known for large headed statues then came up with these three.

“The Yew Tree started dying back at the top, often because of wind damage or frost, and therefore was cut off. The assumption was the tree would not survive.

“I started on them 20 years ago and it was several years before they began to take shape.

“You start off with the basic shape and then get more and more detailed as the foliage fills in the holes - this has been a 20-year project.

This head is cut from a yew tree, stands almost 20ft and depicts an Easter Island head. Picture: SWNS

“It’s a prominent project and I trim the trees six times a year to stop them getting brushy - it’s takes a whole weekend each time.

“We come out and find people taking photos in front of them.”

Three topiary heads measuring almost 20ft. Picture: SWNS
Michael Kaplan tending to the sculptures. Picture: SWNS
This head is cut from a yew tree, stands almost 20ft and depicts an Easter Island head. Picture: SWNS