Carved Tree Animals

by jontwigge on 17 July, 2017

Update – I have now included a detailed response from a senior officer below the main story.
A slightly unusual question, but a member of the public asked me if it would be possible to have carved tree animals when trees are cut down rather than leaving short stumps for ages.   They would be cut a lot taller than now to allow for the carving.  I have seen this done and they can look really good.

Example of a Carving

I have asked council officers if this is possible. There would be a cost to do it and treat them every so often but it might even be less than the cost of removing the stumps – they are very difficult to get out.   The public in any one area would need to be consulted as well as I don’t suppose they are to everyone’s taste but they certainly brighten things up and look better than short stumps.
There are lots more examples of tree stump carvings on the internet if you search for carved animal tree stumps.
What do you think? Please let us know if you would support the idea.
Update:  A council officer has responded to my question quickly and with some detail.  In summary this can be possible in some cases but it is expensive and does not solve the problem.  Tree stumps still rot from the inside even when protected on the outside and have to be removed eventually anyway.
The full response from the council:

There are a few carved tree trunks in the borough.  There aren’t more of them because:

  • We don’t fell healthy trees, leaving a long upright trunk of an unhealthy, rotten tree is a risk
  • Depending on the intricacy of the design the cost for the chainsaw artist varies but is normally within the £1500-£3000 range.
  • There is no saving on felling costs, the stumps are of unhealthy trees, they become unstable and need removing in time.
  • The trunk, connected as it is to the earth by the remains of its root system, will rot from within.
  • All felled trees are eventually replaced in line with the tree management policy.
  • As lovely as a carved trunk can be a healthy living tree is a better option.
  • We still have to do a regular inspection (as they rot further they become unstable)
  • When they eventually and inevitably have to be removed some people understandably feel it was a waste of money or object to their much loved carvings being removed.

So while it is a great idea, carved trunks can be viable in certain places, the costs are high and the maintenance/removal should still be taken into account.

 Update 2
Officers have responded with regard to how long carved animals typically last.  Unfortunately, there is not a simple answer as it depends on a lot of things including the type of tree , and therefore the kind of wood, involved.  There is a lot more information about this at:
The council argument that they should not deliberately cut down trees that are healthy is, I believe, a very strong one.   Trees that they have to cut down are normally not healthy so would not be good for carvings.
Therefore, if you did want one of these carvings in your area then you would need to seek support of your neighbours and perhaps even raise the money to do it and maintain it.

2 Responses

  1. Helen Hill says:

    Yes why not have trees carved. We have a few in the area, woodbank park. This really needs cutting and putting on a plinth as begining to rot around that bottom to preserve it.would be a shame to loose it, as really nice work of art.we also have an owl at etherow. A owl at tennis and bowl club on Douglas rd. And this squirrel etc at torkington park entrance. Also a house on the A6 at Heaton Norris has the candle and bee for the Manchester remembrance. They are all pieces of art in there own rights and really nice to see.

  2. Howard Davey says:

    I think the carvings are a fantastic advert for nature, I pass 3 regularly, The squirrel in Torkington Park, the owl in Cale Green, which was decorated with hat and tinsel last Christmas, and the Old Salt in Cheadle. Wonderful talking points. Perhaps the Council Officer could say how long the ‘stumps’ last before becoming a danger ?

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