Diseased oak trees in League Park to be turned into art

Some residents may be sad to learn the city cut down two old oak trees in League Park, but the good news is they will be repurposed.

Parts of the diseased trees will be turned into wooden carvings that will be displayed in front of Helen Hall Library and at Hometown Heroes Park, said Sarah Greer Osborne, director of communications and media relations.

While it is unfortunate the massive oak trees-which were planted in the early 1900s-were cut down, the city had no choice, she said. City arborist Heather McKnight had been monitoring the trees for several years. Both became so diseased that their large branches were at risk of breaking off, which could have injured park visitors or damaged vehicles, according to a city press release.

"These are so diseased they're about to topple over," Osborne said of the two trees before they were cut down the morning of March 24.

Clear Lake resident Jimmy Phillips will be carving the wood into sculptures. The one in front of the library will be a carving of a child sitting and reading with a dog named Scout, who was the dog of League City founder J. C. League. Scout will become a mascot for League City as he is integrated into several upcoming works of art around the city, Osborne said.

The carving at Hometown Heroes Park will be of a 6-foot firefighter. Phillips said he will start on the Helen Hall Library carving next week, and it will take him about a week to complete.

Phillips has carved hundreds of trees, he said. After Hurricane Ike, he took fallen trees and carved several of them into works of art, he and Osborne said. His work is available for viewing on Inshore Sculpture website.

This article comes from our ABC13 partners at Community Impact Newspaper.