Gardening & Outdoors
Woman transforms dead, 110-year-old tree into a gorgeous, whimsical creation for her neighbors to enjoy
Wow, this is absolutely gorgeous!
Elijah Chan

Think about the most beautiful library you’ve ever seen.

Do you see Victorian trimmings or Hellenistic pillars adorned with statues? Do you see hundred-year-old shelves with card labels on small metal holders with words written in cursive?

YouTube Screenshot - KREM 2 News
YouTube Screenshot - KREM 2 News

These public libraries are beautiful in their own way but there is one in Idaho that is way smaller than all of these and yet, it opens a world of imagination and magic.

A library in Coeur d’Alene gives “The Giving Tree” a whole new meaning.

A 110-year-old cotton tree was sitting outside Sharalee Armitage Howard’s home. When the tree finally ran the course of its natural life, the times we were told that it was time for the tree to go.

YouTube Screenshot - KREM 2 News
YouTube Screenshot - KREM 2 News

Howard shared with Bored Panda that as the tree continued to deteriorate, it began dropping branches around the immediate area. They considered it a hazard most especially when one of the branches fell on her son’s car.

A convenient solution was to just cut it down and use the wood for something else.

But the librarian, artists, and former bookbinder had other plans. She still saw life in that tree. She saw an opportunity for transformation. Ultimately, she found a way to meld two things she loved the most – art and books.

She shared with the Bored Panda that there are a lot of things we could do with a tree stump but of course, we wouldn’t cut a perfectly healthy tree for that. And now that she has the perfect specimen, Howard went to work.

They carved the inside of the tree into shelves.

Then, they cut off the top of the tree to finally get rid of the “occupational hazard” and replaced it with a roof. They also adorned the shelves with lights and hung a pretty lantern right under the tree.

She mentioned to the Bored Panda that cotton trees can live around 40-50 years, and yet, after double the lifespan, the tree still kept on giving.

They even included small book carvings on the door that carried iconic titles like “Call of the Wild” and J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Hobbit”.

They filled the shelves with books and turned the tree into a mini-library.

The tree is nothing short of magical. It’s a perfect book for fairytales and other fantasy books that could fuel one’s imagination. However, other books are welcome too.

The little tree library is currently registered under the Little Free Library. The non-profit organization aims to educate and empower people through reading.

Through their initiative, people can have access to shared books 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. The Idaho cotton tree library can be found on their world map.

Howard was thankful for the reception.

“Thanks so much for all of the wonderful feedback about our little free library! It’s awesome to know that there are so many people out there that appreciate how art (in any form) quite simply, makes the world a cooler place to live in,” she said in a Facebook post.

It truly is whimsical to see a library such as this one but what’s more magical is knowing that a century-old tree, in the end, still has a lot of stories to tell.

Watch how an artist turned a dead tree into a living library.

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