Many years ago, when my husband and I cut down a tree in our California backyard, we left the tree stump about 6 feet tall. Scott built a bird feeder on top of the stump. I planted flowers at the base. Birds enjoyed the feeder year round. It never occurred to either of us to take a chainsaw to the stump to create something beautiful.
Tree stump art was not a thing back then. Most people we knew struggled with removing unwanted stumps. We were glad to find something useful to do with ours. In recent years, people have been turning stumps into works of art.
City Park in Houston, Minnesota
During a recent visit to my hometown of Houston, Minnesota, Mom and I stopped to look at the tree stump art in the city park. It was something I had also seen in Parque de la Madre in Cuenca, Ecuador. Art is now found where trees once stood. The trees in both parks had to be removed due to disease. The parks kept the stump tall enough to transform it into beautiful chainsaw carved works of art.
Houston (population 978) is home to the International Owl Center, the only one of it’s kind in North America. It advances the survival of wild owl populations through education and research. Around town, various owl themes can be found. In spring 2017, artist Molly Wiste carved four owls into one trunk in the city park. The level of detail in each owl is impressive.
|Tree stump owl art, Houston City Park
Parque de la Madre in Cuenca, Ecuador
Cuenca’s (population 400,000) Parque de la Madre (Mother’s Park) celebrates (surprise!) mothers. The carvings in this park began in 2015. Several artists were commissioned to create four pieces each. You will not be surprised to learn that much of the tree stump art is shaped like women.
|Pregnant woman, Parque de la Madre
|Man and woman, Parque de la Madre
Benches were created with some of the cut trees, too. They come in decorative shapes as well as animal shapes. The absence of grass in front of each bench is testament to how frequently they are used.
|People lounging on a carved bench with stump art in background
The bench with horse heads carved into it is my favorite relaxation location in the park.
|Emily in Parque de la Madre
A stump with an owl carved above a woman’s head reminds me of the carvings in Houston.
|Woman with owl, Parque de la Madre
I am thoroughly impressed with the chainsaw artists who create these beautiful statues and benches. Steven Gordon posted this short video on You Tube showing one of the artists carving in 2015.
It would have been cool to have had something like these in our California backyard to go along with our bird feeder and flowers.
Have you seen tree stump art near you?