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Dead tree becomes art on Esplanade

Posted by Johanna Kaiser  October 22, 2012 12:04 PM

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Stoneman-Sculpture-with-new landscaping_10.2012_small.jpg

(Photo courtesy The Esplanade Association)

The new tree sculpture and landscaping in the Charles River Esplanade's Stoneman Playground.

An old oak tree that once grew tall on the Charles River Esplanade has been transformed to a work of art.

The oak tree in the Esplanade’s Stoneman Playground died about five years ago and was cut down to a tall stump. Now, it is a whimsical sculpture with a bench, canopy, and window to the river.

The Esplanade Association, a friends group that worked to build the Stoneman Playground where the tree sculpture sits, commissioned Mitch Ryerson to design and create the sculpture.

Stoneman Tree Before.jpg

(Photo courtesy The Esplanade Association)

The oak tree was cut down to a tall stump after it died.


Ryerson, who also created the custom bench and wooden climbing structure at the new Esplanade Playspace, turned the tree into a focal point of the park near the intersection of Hereford Street and Storrow Drive.

A bench wraps around the tree and a wooden canopy provides shades, a hole carved in the trunk of the tree offers a peek of the Charles River, and wood sculpted birds are perched on top of the tree, keeping an eye on the playground.

While the sculpture and playground are currently open to the public, The Esplanade Association has planned a spring ribbon cutting to celebrate the parkland’s latest addition.
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Twitter: @YourBackBay, @YourBeaconHill
E-mail: Johanna.yourtown@gmail.com

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