Mike Price doesn’t have an opinion about the fate of the iconic monkey puzzle tree near the top of downtown Tacoma’s Spanish Stairs.
The retired city employee just wants to put in a request that if it does come down, the wood not end up in someone’s fireplace. Instead, Price wants it to be offered to wood carvers such as himself because the patterns in the wood make for especially elegant carvings.
Price has been working on some pieces from a tree that was recently removed from a house near the entrance to Point Defiance. He said he is impressed by the patterns that emerge because of the way branches grow from the trunk. Rather than grow in random patterns, the branches grow out at the same horizontal point. Then, after a foot or more without branches, another batch emerges.
The redevelopers of the old Elks Lodge have not said whether they think the tree should go or stay. It does, however, obscure the facade of the building. A recent Hot Button survey in the News Tribune found those who weighed in nearly divided – 612 who think the tree should go and 506 who want it saved.