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Richard Harris at Westonbirt Arboretum

Date uploaded: September 2, 2013

Richard Harris
2000 Year Old Lime
Westonbirt Arboretum

Renowned artist and sculptor Richard Harris was commissioned earlier this year to create a sculpture celebrating one of Britain’s oldest trees – the historic 2000 Year Old Lime at the Forestry Commission’s National Arboretum at Westonbirt.

"On coming across this Small Leafed Lime for the first time I was struck by the shear bulk of material on the ground following the coppicing of this ancient tree. My plan was to work with this great physical mass, to give a sense of the age and scale of the tree that was not apparent from the piles of cut stems on the ground.

The coppiced Lime tree and the wood it produces, is in an unfamiliar or unexpected form for an ancient tree. If all this timber was put together it would add up to a sizable tree; the sculpture re-configures the cut wood into an equivalent vision of a very large single stemmed tree of a similar age. Stood vertically one against another, the cut Lime branches form a circle of approximately 15m in circumference or 5m diameter. This gives a sense of what people may expect from a 2,000 year old tree, but drawing attention to the very different form of the coppiced Lime, that is in effect, an ancient tree in disguise.

Trees of this age are usually hollow. The sculpture can be experienced from the inside where the supporting steel structure can be clearly seen.

The sculpture is sited at the edge of the existing coppiced stools, to form a close relationship to the tree that will change as the fresh Lime shoots re-grow, eventually engulfing the sculpture. The sculpture is temporary and is expected to last for about five years."

Treefest at Westonbirt Arboretum
24th - 26th August 2013

Tree-discovering family activities, expert carvers, local music, great food and over 100 exhibitors make up Treefest, Weston Arboretum's signature summer event.

Click here to find out more about Treefest.

Click here for more information.

2000 Year Old Lime - Westonbirt Arboretum 2013, Lime tree stems steel frame and galvanized wire. 5m x 11m

2000 Year Old Lime - Westonbirt Arboretum 2013, Lime tree stems steel frame and galvanized wire. 5m x 11m