Historic Alvin tree turned into art instead of axed after tangling in power lines

ALVIN, Texas (KTRK) -- Along Highway 6, in the heart of Alvin, there is something new carved from the hardwood of history.

A cottonwood tree more than 100 years old seemed doomed when it was decided it had to come down after getting tangled with the power lines. But the property's owner, lifelong resident Joe Saladino, couldn't ax a piece of history.

"It's a landmark. It's part of the community here in Alvin. I grew up here in Alvin. My parents came here in 1900," said Saladino.

In order to save the tree, Saladino hired James Phillips, a man who knows people love their trees, to turn it into art.

"Well because they last a lot longer than we do and many people. If they stay in the same place for a long time, (they) grow accustomed to their trees and eat and meet under their trees," said Phillips.

It's a statement that was proved to be true.

"I've lived here in Alvin 80 years and I remember when this tree was small," said Alvin resident Charles McCauley.

This also may carve out something new to attract people to Alvin. There is talk of doing this to trees in parks and elsewhere around town.

Joe's just glad it's already making people smile as they drive along Highway 6, through the heart of Alvin.
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