2008-07-17 / News

Tree stump's wardrobe garners attention

By Erin Brown

Jim and Ursula Pimental's tree stump donned its patriotic costume for Independence Day. The homeowners dress up the stump for each holiday. Photo by Erin Brown Jim and Ursula Pimental's tree stump donned its patriotic costume for Independence Day. The homeowners dress up the stump for each holiday. Photo by Erin Brown Residents who enjoy seasonal yet original decorations may want to take a detour this week to encounter the new and charming participant on the block.

This participant, an unassuming little wood figure, gracefully makes its home in the front yard of 89 Watson Ave., presiding over the current season's neighborhood ornaments.

The figure emerged last October, when Jim Pimentel decided to cut down the large tree in his front yard. The tree was tall, and starting to get tangled in the telephone wires overhead. Ursula Pimentel agreed with him, confiding that the tree was, "shading my flowers."

Jim decided that he wanted to be original with his tree stump, and perhaps make it into a type of sculpture. So instead of cutting the tree down to normal stump size, he gave it a stature of about three feet. He then used a saw to shape its wooden features, and even fashioned movable stick arms for the form, using large screws to attach them securely.

Jim's sister, Karen Ronez, helped take the idea one step further by decorating the little statue. The first outfit that the figure sported was that of a gardener, complete with hat and rake. Later in October, the rough statue was transformed into a ghost to match the Halloween décor. It was the first of many transformations that the statue would undergo.

The small remnant of a tree has masqueraded as leprechaun, with mug intact, for Saint Patrick's Day, as well as a large pink bunny for Easter- fluffy ears and all. The stump has also donned appropriate outfits for Cinco de Mayo, and most recently for the Fourth of July.

Ronez said that they all loved to decorate, and usually the outside of the house was bedecked to match the tree figure. As she put it, the tree stump was, "An easy way to decorate- but different. It's fun!"

The timber statue has a fan club, as well. Kathy Brownell is one regular admirer, coming by each time the tree's apparel is traded out to photograph the change. "I just think they're so creative with their ideas," she said. Brownell mentioned that her favorite identity for the figure was probably the Cinco de Mayo outfit.

"People will drive by, slow down, and then toot their horns," Ronez said. "Or kids will ride by on their bikes and say, 'Hey, nice tree!'"

With the Fourth of July past, the keepers of the little tree stump are thinking about what to do next. "We're thinking maybe a beach theme," Ronez said. "You know, maybe some sunglasses, a beach wrap, or a hat."

The little wooden figure has dug its roots into the neighborhood, and plans to stick around for awhile. The household on Watson Avenue say that they hope to make the little tree's wardrobe changes a long-term tradition.

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