Remember the beautiful carvings made from trees that were destroyed during the October Surprise snowstorm a few years ago? Several of those carvings are displayed at the Erie Basin Marina in downtown Buffalo and are an inspiring attraction along Buffalo’s developing waterfront.
Similarly, the nearby city of London, Ontario has a Tree Trunk Tour featuring approximately 20 beautifully carved tree trunks. Recognizing the walking tour potential of tree carvings as public art, Tourism London became involved and with the support of STIHL Canada and the City of London, developed tree carvings within the Woodfield Community Association boundaries.
STIHL Canada, a major manufacturer of chainsaws, is headquartered in London and has matched Tourism London's financial contribution to the project and has also supplied the artists with equipment and clothing.
The Tree Trunk Tour demonstrates London's love of trees and is enhancing its reputation as the Forest City. Carvers have created sculptures that, instead of being confined to an art gallery, are right out on public streets.
From tree stump to concept drawing and the final carving, it takes about four weeks to transform a tree into a sculpture. About 95 percent of the carving is done with chainsaws ranging in size from large blocking saws to delicate carving saws. Detailed finishing work is accomplished with chisels and power rotary tools. The artwork is usually painted or stained and then coated with automotive polyurethane enamel to preserve the wood against the weather.
For more information on this walking tour, please visit www.londontourism.ca/treetrunktour. And, for helpful information on planning a quick getaway to London, visit www.londontourism.ca.