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Friend of the shop Robert Miller went down to Galveston, Texas, recently and brought back stories of a number of chainsaw carvings that many folks had in their front yards. He said they were carved from trees that seemed to have grown there on the spot and not been brought in. We looked at him like he had grown a second head, but he just continued on about how crazy it all was. Turns out he was correct. The people in Galveston are just really good about making lemonade from lemons.

In 2008, Hurricane Ike smacked the town pretty hard. Some homes were left as rubble and others just a little waterlogged — but the real crusher that could’t be replaced was the trees. 100-year-old oaks were snapped and broken like matchsticks, leaving the residents brokenhearted since the oaks had become part of the lifestyle in Galveston.

Not to be put down for long, someone came up with the idea of bringing in a few chainsaw carvers to put an artistic spin on the disaster. If they couldn’t have 100-year-old trees, they could damn well have art carved from them. Many households commissioned the artists to carve up the stumps of the oaks into scenes and statues that meant something to them.

A fire hydrant and dalmatian sit outside the firehouse. A faithful Labrador watches the street from a backyard. There are everything from guitars to angels littering the yards of Galveston’s stump collection, dozens in all. It’s a small thing that makes a big difference in people’s lives, all thanks to a few artists and a handful of chainsaws.

Click on the gallery images below to see a larger version.

Lost Oaks of Galveston Project [Website]


3 Responses to Lost Oaks of Galveston

  1. Rembret says:

    Those giant oaks were beautiful. It was a huge loss to the city, but I’m glad they did this as a reminder and a celebration of the rebuilding of Galveston.

  2. Gary Z says:

    Sometimes when folks come to the store to buy wood I talk to them about wood being a living thing that continues to move and grow old gracefully. This is an example of a tree growing old gracefully.

  3. kdp says:

    A lot of these oaks died due to salt water inundation. It was sad to look at green trees and know that they were already dead.

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