August 13, 2012

The broken limb

The phone rang, my brother’s voice crackled on the other end, “You have to come over here and see what I woke up to…”

We hopped on the kawasaki mule and headed over. He has a huge oak tree next to the deck on the back of his house. There’s a limb that extends from the tree which is bigger than most of the trees people have in their yard. The limb was split and touching the ground. I have never seen anything like that. I’ve seen broken limbs that have fallen and stuck several feet into the ground, but this looked bizarre. He played the security video of the back of the house and just past sunrise you could see the limb slowly sink without a sound as it laid gently on the ground, literally inches away from his deck.

We walked around it a few times scratching our heads. He called a couple of tree services and was quoted on its removal. I told him to let us know what he decided to do and give us a call so we could help with the removal. A few days later I went by and saw that it was gone. I asked him how much they charged to do it he said, “I just climbed up there and cut it down a piece at a time.”

I stood there for a few minutes looking at him then said, “you’re going through treatment for pancreatic cancer and you climbed up a tree to cut down a limb almost as big as your house…” In his typical fashion he pushed his hat back on his head and said, “well I did it in the morning before it got too hot, besides.. I ain’t paying nobody three hundred dollars to cut a limb off a tree…”

I shook my head and went on…

I went over to the pile of discarded limbs at the edge of his yard and began to dig through. Several hours, scratches, and couple of gallons of sweat later I was back at home organizing and cataloging the pieces I had taken. The first piece I finished was a walking stick with a vine design burned into it from top to bottom. The second one I finished was a painted wood spirit.

There is just something I enjoy about working on pieces taken from especially beloved or familiar trees, almost like giving them a second chance at life. This is going to be a fun series to carve...

The vine walking stick is 39 inches in length and the painted wood spirit is 41 inches. The pricing is $45 each. If you are interested in either piece you can reach me at 678-423-6541 or via email at