Commercial Silk Int'l

How to Build an Outdoor Artificial Topiary Plant

Outdoor artificial topiary plants look vibrant and healthy without the ongoing maintenance that indoor live plants require. They are beneficial in hard-to-reach areas and in locations where live plants cannot grow. Be sure to use UV rated artificial plant material for all of your outdoor plant and topiary applications, as in this video demonstrating how to build an outdoor azalea topiary.

[more]Products Used:

  • Artificial Azalea Topiary Swirl
Materials Needed: Instructions:
  • Cut the artificial plant into strips of flowering foliage that can be attached to the decorative topiary frame.

  • Wrap the foliage along the frame, keeping much of the flowers and artificial foliage on the topiary frame's outside.

  • Wire the foliage to the frame on both foliage ends, securing additional wires where needed. Cut any excess wire.

  • Gently shape the foliage so the topiary plant looks healthy and realistic from every angle.

  • Place the finished topiary plant into a decorative planter.

Cell Tower Concealment, Avatar Re-creations, and Urban Forests

Monopine Tree

We wrote recently about concealing cell towers with silk plants and trees, and soon after there was more news about a Chicago neighborhood evaluating concealment options for a particularly obtrusive tower in scenic Westridge. Fortunately for the community, many concerned residents have stepped up to demand that they get a high quality artificial tree solution. Done right, the cell phone tower won't be an eyesore and visitors will hardly notice it.

[more]Silk Tree Forest Concept A fascinating proposal for a museum in Slovenia has made news recently for an unusual urban forest concept. In this concept, the exterior is made completely of glass and the interior is comprised of platform tree tops with museum-goers allowed to walk among them, not unlike the way a frog might hop along on lily pads. Accentuating the theme are the fact that these tree tops are fitted with solar panels and provide most of the energy requirements for the museum.

Artificial Tree of Souls You may have noticed the latest media blitz for Avatar now that the highest grossing moving of all time is out on DVD. It appears promoters have taken film marketing to a new level in Europe by using a large silk tree to replicate the visually stunning Tree of Souls that was almost bulldozed by the evil imperial colonialists in the movie. The silk tree required 20 miles of fiber optic cabling and was installed just in time for earth day. Not surprisingly, DVD sales quickly broke records in North America and in many countries worldwide.

How to Unbox and Shape a Silk Plant

When you buy silk plants from Commercial Silk Int'l, they will often arrive in a cardboard box. To unbox your silk plant you'll need a simple set of tools, and to properly shape it you'll just need your set of hands and a delicate touch.

[more]Products Used

Materials Needed

  • Pliers
  • Flathead Screwdriver


  • First, use a screwdriver and pliers to remove the staples from the bottom of the box.
  • Lift the box cover off.
  • Using your screwdriver and pliers, remove all staples from the base of the box.
  • Beginning with the foliage leaves on the bottom of the silk plant, shape the leaves by bending them down and out.
  • Working upwards to the top of the floor plant, continue to gently shape the silk foliage using both hands.
  • Continue shaping the plant until all leaves are gracefully reaching towards the light, just like a healthy living plant.
  • Well shaped plants will only need a light annual silk plant cleaning. They appear healthy without the ongoing maintenance that indoor tropical plants require.

How To Create Silk Topiary Plants

Silk topiary plants are ideal for hard-to-reach areas, indoor locations with limited light, and places where live potted plants cannot grow. Commercial Silk Int'l craftsmen take pride in creating quality decorative silk topiaries, and this informational video demonstrates the process of creating a silk topiary plant.

[more]Products Used

Materials Needed

  • Glue Gun
  • Pliers
  • Mulch or Bark
  • Moss
  • Spray Foam
  • Knife
  • Craft Ball
  • Tree Stem
  • Craft Pins
  • Container
  • Rock
  • Silk Ivy Plant


  • Layer rock several inches thick at the bottom of the plant container to add ballast.
  • Dispense foam. Do not fill to the top of the container. The foam will rise and expand.
  • Add mulch or bark chips as a base; press into the foam. Allow to dry and set up overnight.
  • Using the knife, carefully cut a hole in the bottom of the topiary ball for later insertion of the tree stem.
  • Using the knife, sharpen both ends of the tree stem to a dull point.
  • Quickly spread glue on the tip of the tree stem.
  • Firmly press the glued end of the tree stem into the pre-carved hole of the topiary ball.
  • Glue the remaining end of the tree stem.
  • Insert the tree stem into the foamed container. Working quickly, be sure the stem is straight vertically. Check its potted position from all angles.
  • Working in sections, apply hot glue on the ball.
  • Press a clump of moss onto the hot glue to cover the ball. Continue gluing and mossing the entire surface of the topiary ball.
  • Push the craft pins through the moss and glue, securing the moss onto the surface of the ball.
  • Once the ball's entire surface is covered with moss, wrap the artificial ivy around the topiary ball, securing the ivy with craft pins as you work. If needed, cut the ivy into strips of foliage for better placement. Trim any excess decorative ivy.

Concealing Cell Phone Towers with Silk Trees

Cell Phone Tower Tree Concealing cell phone towers is often a compromise to an unwanted problem. No one wants a cell phone tower in their neighborhood, known as they are for bringing masses of steel to otherwise quaint neighborhoods, reducing home values, dosing people with unhealthy levels of radiation (some say), and inciting gridlock at zoning boards all over the country. The improvement of cell phone coverage, for whatever reason, does not make up for these drawbacks in most people's eyes.

[more]Concealing cell phone towers with silk plants and trees, however, can make all the ballyhoo seem like nothing but empty sound and fury. Many artificial tree solutions, when done by professional manufacturers, look incredibly authentic and seamlessly blend into the forest environment around them. The most common varieties of cell tower trees include faux Elm (which is very similar to artificial Banyan foliage manufactured by Commercial Silk Int'l), Pine and Palm trees.

Cell Phone Tower Pine Tree Outside of silk plants and trees, many other creative concealments have been implemented, including church bell towers, street light poles, lighthouses, and more. At the end of the day, if you can convincingly hide a mobile phone tower, there's not a whole lot left to do but be grateful for better coverage.

The Art of Creating Artificial Trees

Creating artificial trees is an art, as shown in this time elapsed video of a Commercial Silk manufacturer creating an artificial Ficus tree. Our team of craftsmen are masters in their field and strive to create the most authentic and realistic silk trees in the industry. Fortunately, our craftsmen have over 40,000 square feet of studio-like warehouse space to perfect their art.

At the base of the tree, trunks and PVC collars are embedded into a reinforced container. For permanent installations, steel plates would be utilized.

[more]Branches are joined to the main trunk using doweled ends. Steel reinforcements allow our craftsmen to manipulate tree density and form specific shapes typical to the various trees we manufacture. Cables are then used to preserve the shape.

Branch and trunk imperfections are hand painted to blend with the stem coloration, further heightening the authenticity, and tapered branch tips provide a smooth transition from branch to foliage.

Last and certainly not least, our Inherantly Fire Retardant (IFR&trade) foliage provides permanent fire protection to meet state fire code requirements (NFPA 70, Class A per ASTM E84, California title 19, US BOv SIN 4722-06 Flammabilty Code, NFPA 705), allowing our silk trees to be implemented in commercial projects, such as a rooftop bar Ficus tree installation.

Commercial Silk Int'l
Commercial Silk Int'l