Turn a 250yo Tree Into a Love Seat!

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The Giving Tree is preserved into a very popular photo destination spot and hangout!

Supplies:

Step 1: Sad Loss Becomes a Happy Place

When we began our restoration of an 1870’s property in Statesville, NC, we were sad to learn that one of the most beautiful trees on the property had to go. It had root rot and since it towered over the house, it had to be carefully removed. As a tree hugger, all I wanted was to save something of this tree because it predated the homes construction and deserved to endure.

Step 2: Removing History

Cranes were needed to remove the bulk of this massive tree ... much of which was taken to Fort Dobbs for construction and restoration at their historic landmark.
The base of the tree had to be cut into sections of less than 4 ft tall as any longer the crane operator could not safely lift without the crane tipping.

Step 3: A Vision Became a Mission

We left the stump of the tree and initially carved a rough seat in it. But that quickly got us thinking. Our home was to become a wedding venue and this old stump could become an amazing feature for photos.

Step 4: Rough Cut

We initially had chainsaws to carve a rough but more refined two seat chair from the tree stump. Then the real work of using a grinder with a chainsaw like wheel helped us develop the contours and form needed to define the seat. After a great deal of sanding with both a belt sander and orbital sander, our “Love Seat” was taking shape. We knew that the tree was still a living structure and decided to use Australian Palm Oil to seal and protect it. Exterminators treated the base to prevent termites as well.

Step 5: The Finished Product

Now the tree has been repurposed and will endure for a very long time with some maintenance. We are so glad to have saved it.

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26 Discussions

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wodentoad

7 days ago

Better Idea: carve it into a bedpost and build your house around it, but keep it secret. Then after war and misfortune keep you away from your family for 19 years, you can use it to prove to your wife that you are her husband...

Just a thought.

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TeresaM7wodentoad

Reply 7 days ago

Ahhh, my days in the college Literature department. You just made my day! :)

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wodentoadTeresaM7

Reply 7 days ago

Just finished reading my verse translation to my 3yo daughter.

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TeresaM7wodentoad

Reply 6 days ago

You're reading The Odyssey to your 3yo? Wow! Lucky little girl! :-)

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wodentoadTeresaM7

Reply 6 days ago

We have also read both of the D'Aulaire books on mythology as well. Right now we just started our second reading of the Hobbit/LotR series (by request). I have been reading to my kids since they were born, and they love books.

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TeresaM7wodentoad

Reply 1 day ago

W, you are my hero. I'm in love with any parent who takes that much time and interest in their children. You have a gold star, a crown, and a long, flowing cape in my books <3

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wodentoadTeresaM7

Reply 1 day ago

Nah, just a lit geek with a captive audience. She also laughs at poots, so...

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TeresaM7wodentoad

Reply 8 hours ago

LOL! But really, this is one who grew up with parents who mostly ignored her and had little use for her. I'm always thrilled when I find a parent who takes time with their kids. Wear that crown and cape with pride, dear!

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charlessenf-gm

7 days ago

Not a forester by any stretch. However, I do have a stump and roots here that was here twelve years ago. No bark, no obvious rotting. I wonder if it might be worth the effort (and expense) to dig it out of the ground. cut and clean the roots appropriately and make it portable!
The tree (and roots) are wet. Getting it all above ground might allow it to be preserved.
Excellent project BTW, Brilliant!

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Thanks; arborist said area is actually well suited for drainage away from tree and the property is on the national registry so we are trying to keep the tree in its original location. It won’t last forever but he estimated with the Aussie oil we can get 30-40 years out of it.

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LynorL

7 days ago

Beautiful photo prop! We tried something similar and made a table. The roots and base rotted from the inside out in about 4 years. Same thing happened to two 40’ trunk totems we carved. We were sealing them every year, and didn’t know the insides were rotting until one fell on our greenhouse. I don’t know how that could have been prevented, but just sealing the outer surface wasn’t enough. You’ll have to come up with a creative solution if you want your carved trunk to last.

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Key to EscapeSLynorL

Reply 7 days ago

Not sealing the tree because it’s still alive... that would cause it to rot fast. Instead using oils to treat tree.... arborist warmed us not to seal it for 5-10 years

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Gusgonnet

7 days ago

wow, what a great project, congrats!!!

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Bionicjoe

7 days ago

Step 1. Find acorn.
Step 2. Plant acorn.
Step 3. Wait awhile.