From shade tree to artwork

Last week my parents decided that they needed to have a tree removed from their yard because they were nervous about how close it was getting to their house.  Personally, I do not know if it would have ever caused a problem but my dad is old and stubborn and once he has something in his head, it is nearly impossible to convince him otherwise.

After finding out about the impending doom of the majestic oak that resides in my parents front yard I had a fun idea.  I figured why not use the wood from the tree for something fun and artistic. I remembered a couple years back that I had found a wood carver at a festival in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  I still had the guys card in my wallet.  I gave the guy a call and he gave me a quote on how much it would  cost to turn a 5 foot tree trunk into a sculpture in my parents front yard.

The silly thing about the carved statue that I am commissioning is that it is gonna be a raccoon.  I know, I know…. a raccoon?  You say?  Yes a raccoon.  I guess I should have mentioned that my dads nickname growing up was rocky, as in Rocky Raccoon.  Not totally sure on why but he said it might have had something to do with the fact that he was nocturnal when he was younger.  Either way the nickname stuck and people still call my 60 year old father Rocky.  My dad still works a full time job so we decided that we will try to keep this as a surprise.  It should not be too hard to pull off because my mom is gonna be the person in charge of being around for the actual tree removal.  Once the tree service has the bulk of the tree taken down, the wittler will get to work.  He assumes he can get it done up in several hours.  He might not have it stained up in time but so long as the statue is carved then I am happy.  The tree company out of Howell that is taking down the tree is named Livingston Tree Service and they are happy to leave the bottom quarter of the stump in place, actually they are ecstatic because they won’t have to bring out their stump grinder.

As long as everything goes as planned, we should have it all done someday next week.  I will be sure to post a picture when it gets done. Picture below is similar to what I was thinking although I hope to make it look a bit more finished than the one in the picture.