An eyrie look for a dead Oak Park tree

Retired Oak Park couple transforms stump into art

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By Marty Stempniak

Staff Reporter

While most would probably just remove a tree once it starts to rot, one Oak Park couple took a different route.

Retirees John and Peg Puccini hired someone to cut down the dead horse chestnut in their side yard earlier this month. But rather than leveling the whole thing, the tree trimmer left a 16-foot-tall stump to be fashioned into a sculpture.

The Puccinis then hired Homer Glen-based Northern Exposure to transform the stump into a group of three perched eagles. The couple glanced at woodcarving artist Scott Cochrane's portfolio and settled on that design instead of a bear.

"I didn't want anything that would scare kids," said Peg Puccini, 67.

The Puccinis consider themselves art collectors, and had previously used Northern Exposure to carve another dead tree into a crane. They plan on applying a sealant to the new sculpture every year or so to prolong its life (the crane lasted a decade without sealant).

Neighbors occasionally walk by and curiously gawk at the eagle sculpture. One little girl didn't realize they were fake.

"She came by and said, 'What will you do when one flies away?'" Peg Puccini said. "I said 'It's not equipped to fly.'"

Reader Comments

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Teresa Powell  

Posted: August 1st, 2011 12:11 PM

When I visited the Mississippi Gulf Coast last November (at the epicenter of Katrina's landfall) there were many blasted trees with limbs torn away. They too had artists carve birds, angels and even dolphins on the remaining limbs...a way to turn disaster to beauty.

Jim Coughlin  

Posted: July 29th, 2011 4:02 PM

I wonder if this scares away pigeons? I've got plastic owls hanging from my trees that have helped.

Editor from Oak Park  

Posted: July 29th, 2011 3:31 PM

Have noticed that for awhile. Thought it was a fun idea, but didn't know who did it. I think it's on the South Lombard block.

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