160 Year Old Tallahassee Tree Gets Tribute at Library

Leroy Collins Tree
Posted at 9:13 PM, Jul 05, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-05 17:59:44-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - A carving to honor a more than century old tree is now complete at the Leon County main library.

Earlier this year, the venerable live oak at Leroy Collins Library was removed, after an arborist said the tree was in bad health and needed to be removed for safety reasons.

But Leon County leaders wanted to make sure the spirit of the live oak would not be forgotten, so they enlisted local sculptor John Birch to carve sections of the live oak to memorialize the tree.

The original design had to be completely changed because soon after making the first cuts, Birch found that entire portions of the tree were hollow.

Now, after four and a half months, the project is now complete.

"It was very different, initially it was going to be one boy, half a girl and it was going to be a few cuts of wood to look like a tree fort," explains sculptor John Birch. "Instead, it is two complete children, as well as a dad sticking his head out and some books on a bookshelf on the tree."

The tree was estimated to be about 160 years old when it was cut down.