Couple turn dead tree into squirrel paradise

James Dukeshire, chainsaw wood carver, working on the tree in Rideau Park Lynzey MacRae. James Dukeshire, chainsaw wood carver, at work on the tree carvings in Rideau Park. Photo courtesy of cbc.ca.

A Calgary couple has transformed a backyard eyesore into a stunning sculpture.

Lynzey MacRae and Len Torgerson weren’t sure what to do with the dead tree sitting in their yard. Torgenson thought they should get rid of it, but MacRae didn’t want the squirrel family who lived in the trunk to lose their home. Luckily, the couple came up with a creative solution.

They hired a local chainsaw wood carver to decorate the trunk with images of Canadian wildlife. While the project is ongoing, eventually the tree will be decorated with images of foxes, owls, bears, and even a cougar. LED lights will also be installed to highlight the carvings at night.

This unconventional fix means the arboreal aberration will be transformed into a work of art, and will hopefully house the squirrels for many years to come.

The squirrels have vacated the tree while it is under construction, but MacRae is confident they will return once the work is done.

“I plan to entice them back with their favourite food—peanuts—when the project is complete so that they return,” she told the CBC.

While removing a dead tree is sometimes the right thing to do, especially if it happens to be too close to a cottage or house, MacRae is thrilled hers didn’t get the chop.

“The squirrels get to keep their home and I win the argument.”

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