When something has been around for over 100 years, it’s hard to think about what life would be like without it, even if it’s a tree.
“It’s a landmark. It’s part of the community here in Alvin,” Joe Saladino told KTRK after it had been decided that a cottonwood tree that is more than a century old needed to be cut down.
The city of Alvin, Texas, had grown to like a certain tree along Highway 6.
Joe Saladino, owner of Joe’s Barbeque where the over 100-year-old cottonwood stands, was recently faced with a decision. The tree, which many residents have become accustomed to, had grown so tall that it had reached the power lines and entangled itself in the wires.
The tree needed to be cut down.
Saladino decided to cut the tree down, but in the process turned it into a piece of art.
Knowing how much the tree meant to the community, the lifelong resident of Alvin, a city just outside of Houston, contacted James Phillips.
Phillips is known for his wood carvings.
Rather than completely destroy the tree, it was repurposed.
Over the course of several days, Phillips worked to cut the tree so it was well below the power lines, and then he used his tools to carve it into a sign for Joe’s Barbeque.
He also used a portion of the tree to create a bench for customers.
The final product was unrecognizable.
Turning the tree into a sign saved the tree from becoming nothing more than a memory.
“I’ve lived here in Alvin 80 years and I remember when this tree was small,” Charles McCauley told KTRK.
Now, those who live in the community will be able to remember the tree, while also creating new memories.
Residents of Alvin have shown interest in doing something similar to other trees around the city.
Although the tree doesn’t look like it did so many years ago, Alvin residents are pleased with its transformation.
According to KTRK, the community is interested in turning other overgrown trees into works of art instead of completely cutting them down.