Elmer Long’s Bottle Tree Ranch

Bottle tree capped with a rocking horse

Master recycler, Elmer Long, has created a Bottle Tree Ranch in Oro Grande, on the famous Route 66.

At Elmer's Bottle Tree Ranch

He and his wife, Linda, are perhaps the most hospitable people I’ve ever met. We were warmly welcomed and offered refreshments as they ticked off the different countries of their visitors so far that day. I was happy to be able to add England to a substantial list.

Sewing machine bottle tree

The bottle trees began as a way to use the antique bottles Elmer’s father had collected. Each tree is capped by some kind of found art, discarded treasures, to Elmer’s mind at least. The Ranch already has a forest of bottle trees, but Elmer showed us his trove of many more found objects, all waiting to be placed at the top of their tree.

Bottle Tree Ranch sign

It’s a remarkable, quirky place – an embodiment of an individual spirit, not afraid to go his own way, whatever others might think. If visitors arrive at a time when the ranch is closed, the bottle trees can be seen from the road.

Bottle tree with found object

Update: Elmer Long sadly passed away in 2019, but his bottle tree forest lives on.

7 Replies to “Elmer Long’s Bottle Tree Ranch”

  1. I saw this garden on TV when Billy Connolly was travelling and found it absolutely fascinating, must be great to see in real life. 🙂

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