We present a set of techniques for the synthesis of artificial images that depict branching structures like rivers, cracks, lightning, mountain ranges, or blood vessels. The central idea is to build a statistical model that captures the characteristic bending and branching structure from example images. Then a new skeleton structure is synthesized and the final output image is composed from image fragments of the original input images. The synthesis part of our algorithm runs mostly automatic but it optionally allows the user to control the process in order to achieve a specific result. The combination of the statistical bending and branching model with sophisticated fragment-based image synthesis corresponds to a multi-resolution decomposition of the underlying branching structure into the low frequency behavior (captured by the statistical model) and the high frequency detail (captured by the image detail in the fragments). This approach allows for the synthesis of realistic branching structures, while at the same time preserving important textural details from the original image.