Transforming a 110-Year-Old Dead Tree into a Whimsical Free Little Library: A Magical Gift to the Neighborhood

Sharalee Armitage Howard was shocked when the century-old tree in front of her house withered away. At that point, it was part of her life, for he had always been there, in front of her bedroom window, for as long as she could remember. One day, however, the tree fell ill and dropped many branches in its yard.

Unfortunately, the time had come to cut down the majestic poplar. It was a very difficult task for the artist, who saw all his childhood in this tree. So one night, she had an ingenious idea: to give the tree a second life! Instead of completely cutting down the dying tree, this artist from Idaho came up with an ingenious plan.

image credit: Sharlee Armitage Howard/Facebook

Sharalee Armitage Howard has lived her entire life in her Idaho cottage, proud of the centuries-old tree that watched over her day and night. It was a majestic poplar, 110 years old. A beautiful tree that bloomed in all its beauty in the spring.

One day, however, the terrible news. After noticing several branches on the ground and strange spots on the plant’s leaves, Sharlee decided to call the botanical experts who told her the poplar was not in good condition. It was hard news to swallow, for the tree was sort of a home for the young woman.

After several years, things got worse and the slowly falling branches started to get bigger and more dangerous, to the point of denting the car parked in the driveway. Sharlee knew the time had come to chop the tree down, especially with the onset of the rainy season, the wind could easily uproot the tree.

image credit: Sharlee Armitage Howard/Facebook

A difficult choice that kept Sharlee awake for several nights. But she had the brilliant idea of ​​giving a second life to the tree which has always been outside, watching over her house.

Speaking to a famous art magazine, the young woman explained her idea: “I thought: what if I keep the part of the trunk? What if we turn it into one of those little free libraries? Immediately, j I could imagine the little steps leading up to it. I knew I had to do a lot of work to make it fit around the house. “

The idea of ​​the young artist is not entirely original. There is already a movement called “Little Free Library” in the United States, founded in 2009 by Todd H. Bol. It aims to promote literacy and cultural exchange between the inhabitants of the neighborhoods with the motto: ” Take a book with you, but first leave one of yours “.

So, with a project similar to that of the Little Free Library in mind, in October 2018, Howard and her husband Jamie rolled up their sleeves. At a cost of $ 5,000, they hired a company to remove only part of the poplar, and after two days it was partially gone.

“When the time came to excavate the stump for my library, all we had to do was pull the soft inside of the trunk, in that sense we were made easier by the mold,” he later concluded. the artist.

So while it was painful to see the tree fall and be chopped into small logs, imagining the poplar trunk’s new function gave Sharlee the strength to keep going. After sketching out several projects for the small free library, she finally went for a chalet-style design with a pointy roof like that of fairy tales. Once the trunk was dug, shelves for books and a large glass window as a door were inserted. Everything was perfectly lit by warm mood lights.

The end result was so beautiful that it went viral on the web. In a matter of days, Sharlee’s work and its poplar rose to fame, reaching millions of users on major social networks. And indeed, looking at the photos, we understand why!

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