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Dublin: 16°C Wednesday 29 June 2022

Double Take: The dying Dublin tree that's been transformed into a work of art

There’s something to discover from every angle.

AT THE NORTH east corner of St Anne’s Park, Raheny, where Clontarf Road and Watermill Road meet, is a 10-metre tall tree.

Unmissable to anyone who passes by, what was once a dying Macrocarpa  (more commonly known as Monterey cypress) has been transformed into a canvas for dozens of sculptures of wildlife. 

Known as the Peace Tree and Tree of Life, the landmark came about when it was decided by Dublin City Council that the iconic tree had to be taken down for safety reasons, Dublin Inquirer reported at the time.

However, rather than getting rid of it entirely, the council hired award-winning UK sculptor Tommy Craggs to transform the tree, believed to be 200-years-old, into an eye-catching feature.

Inspired by the wildlife of the park itself and nearby Bull Island, there’s something new to discover from every angle. 

From an octopus spread across the base to a proud swan perched at the top, every inch of the tree has been transformed into a type of fauna.

Despite appearing as though they were created with a chisel, the detailed animals were crafted with a chainsaw.

Work on the tree began in 2015, but the final three metres were not completed until June this year. Upon completion, the tree was finished with oil. 

90419607_90419607 Tree sculptor Tommy Craggs with his creation. Source: Mark Stedman/RollingNews.ie

Sharing a photo of the finished product on Facebook, Durham-based Craggs wrote: “The tree that was so massive and intimidating to me the first time I arrived is now complete.”

While the masterpiece can be viewed from the car while driving along Clontarf Road, it’s more than worth pulling in order to fully appreciate its true beauty. 

More: The 70ft statue in Dublin Bay that took 22 years to complete

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