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If the Elks monkey puzzle tree has to go, please spare the wood

Post by Peter Callaghan / The News Tribune on Oct. 5, 2010 at 10:18 am with 4 Comments »
October 5, 2010 10:18 am

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.

View of a monkey puzzle tree bowl from above

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.

Stumps salvaged from a monkey puzzle tree cut down near Point Defiance

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.

Leave a comment Comments → 4
  1. Mr. Callaghan, now this is just obscene. What’s next LAMPSHADES!? SOAP!!??? This tree is a living creature… AND I CHOOSE LIFE!

  2. Peter Callaghan says:

    Mr. RR. What? You live in a steel house? Draw on hemp paper? Someone has to speak up for deadwood.

  3. All my fantastic hyper-local underground political cartoons are drawn with chalk on a sidewalk where they are transferred digitally into the computer using a system of radioactive ants and a x-ray machine. FURTHERMORE I am so TIRED of these old guy wood carvers mooching on the city for all their hard wood logs. It’s time to end Woodcarver Wood Welfare! Get a job Mike Price!

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