Toppled 200-year-old oak tree gets 2nd life in Minneapolis - New York News

Toppled 200-year-old oak tree gets 2nd life in Minneapolis

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MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) -

It was nearly a year ago that straight line winds battered the metro, knocking down and destroying countless trees -- but rather than allow a beloved red oak to end up in the wood chipper, a Minneapolis family found a way to give their backyard tree a second life.

MORE: Wood from the Hood; Lost tree, lasting memories

Kevin and Cathy Carmody were heartbroken when their beloved oak tree fell in that June storm, but the family says it will live on just feet from where it stood for about 200 years.

"It's a great space for us to hang together," Cathy Carmody said.

Since they couldn’t bear to see their shade tree shredded down to mulch, they hatched a plan before crews even finished chopping down the final sections. Less than a year later, their project is nearly complete.

"The wood makes it very warm -- reminds of what used to be here with the tree," Kevin Carmody said.

The bar is carved out of the red oak, and so too is the bench -- as well as the trim, and the shelving. Even the floor came from the giant tree -- color imperfections and all.

"For us, it's part of the tree's story. It was a unique tree -- had distinct coloring," Cathy Carmody said. "We wanted to leave it here as part of the story of the tree."

The specialty wood work was done at the unique Minneapolis business Wood from the Hood -- a company dedicated to giving second lives to the city's trees. Yet, even with all the work they did, they still have more than half of their red oak lumber left.

"It was worth it," Kevin Carmody said. "Took more time -- had to let the wood dry, probably cost more. Don’t like thinking about it -- but totally worth it for how it turned out."

Although their shade may be gone, that special red oak will be there as they make memories for years to come -- and they'll have plenty of supplies if inspiration strikes again.

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