Windswept trees: Slope Point, New Zealand

Photo: Venca11/Shutterstock

Long before humans discovered the art of shaping trees through bonsai, topiary, and espalier, Mother Earth was doing some major horticultural sculpting herself.

One of the most extreme examples of this natural phenomenon can be found at Slope Point, New Zealand, the southernmost point of the country's South Island.

Situated just 2,982 miles from the South Pole, Slope Point is regularly pounded with extreme winds that have traveled uninterrupted for thousands of miles via the Antarctic circumpolar air stream. As evidenced in the photo above, the growth of nearby trees is dramatically affected as the fierce winds make landfall.

Continue below to see more examples of how trees around the world are forced to bend and twist to Mother Earth's will.

Windswept trees: Lake Hovsgol, Mongolia

Photo: Barbara Barbour/Shutterstock

Lake Hovsgol, Mongolia

Windswept trees: San Francisco

Photo: Philippe Teuwen/Shutterstock

San Francisco, California

Windswept trees: Twistleton Scars

Photo: Phil MacD Photography/Shutterstock

Twistleton Scars, Chapel-le-Dale, England

Windswept trees: Slope Point, New Zealand

Photo: Ben/Flickr

Slope Point, New Zealand

Windswept trees: Darsser, Germany

Photo: Bildagentur Zoonar GmbH/Shutterstock

Darss, Germany

Windswept trees: South coast of England

Photo: Brookie/Wikimedia

England's south coast

Windswept trees: Puerto Plata

Photo: ActiveSteve/Flickr

Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic

Windswept trees: Big Island, Hawaii

Photo: mccready/Wikimedia

Big Island, Hawaii

Windswept trees: Lake Nipissing

Photo: Liam Quinn/Wikimedia

Lake Nipissing, Ontario, Canada

Windswept trees: Maui, Hawaii

Photo: lauralens/Shutterstock

Maui, Hawaii

Windswept trees: Cuckmere Haven

Photo: Alina Wegher/Shutterstock

Cuckmere Haven, Sussex, England

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Catie Leary is a photo editor at Mother Nature Network. Follow her on Twitter and Google+.