Wood Sculptor Transforms Storm-Damaged Tree In Wales Into Giant Hand Sculpture

Heavy rains and high winds are two of the major ways that severe storms can damage a forest. But many wood sculptors are turning fallen trees and dead tree stumps into works of art as a way to breathe new life into trees felled by wind and flood. So, when the tallest tree in Wales was damaged by storm, North Wales-based sculptor Simon O’Rourke decided to transform the remaining stump into a tree hand sculpture.

Many people decide to commission a sculptor to preserve a tree that has to be cut down. And that’s what the Natural Resources Wales did when the tallest tree in Wales was storm-damaged. Interested to do the work, O’Rourke submitted his design to the government agency. His design proposed a magnificent tree hand sculpture that appears to reach for the sky. Of course, there’s a reason why O’Rourke came up with this specific design.


Wood Sculptor Transforms A Storm-Damaged Tree Into A Giant hand Sculpture

tree hand sculpture
Simon O’Rourke

When he learned from a friend that the Natural Resources Wales was searching for a sculptor to work on the damaged tree, O’Rourke began to research about it to give him an idea for the design. He found out that the tree belongs to a woodland area known as the ‘Giants of Vyrnwy’. This is when the idea of carving a giant hand out of the dead stump came to his mind.

“I was really excited at the prospect of carving this giant and creating a memorial for such a well-known landmark!” the sculptor writes.

The meaning behind the tree hand sculpture caught the attention of the agency. So, they chose O’Rourke to transform the tree into a symbolic work of art. After he was chosen, O’Rourke immediately worked on the plan. First, they needed to build a scaffold around the giant stump so he can work on it safely. Due to the terrain condition, it took them two days to build the scaffold.

simon orourke woodcarving fallen trees
Simon O’Rourke


sculptor turns damaged tree into hand sculpture
Simon O’Rourke

After which, O’Rourke began working on the sculpture by using chainsaws and grinders. It took him six days to complete it. Then he coated the woodcarving in Tung Oil to protect the wood and give it a plastic-like look. It measures 50-feet tall including the stump.

“The client was really pleased with the result and said that it was a fitting reminder of the tree. I loved working on the hand sculpture, it reminded me just how small we are compared to some of the living organisms on this planet!”

simon orourke tree hand sculpture
Simon O’Rourke


tree hand wood carving
Simon O’Rourke


People are impressed by O’Rourke’s woodcarving creation

simon orourke woodcarving comment sherrie


simon orourke woodcarving comment oksana


simon orourke woodcarving comment cath


simon orourke woodcarving comment laura


simon orourke woodcarving comment ruth


tree hand sculpture comment dianne


simon orourke woodcarving comment ann


tree hand sculpture comment clarrise


simon orourke woodcarving comment cicely

If you want to commission a tree stump sculpture, you can reach him thru his personal website to send the details. You can also follow him on Instagram to see his vast portfolio of sculptural masterpieces.