Columns have been added to the entry way of the house.
Columns have been added to the entry way of the house.
The tree when first found in the desert.
 Kara and Brad digging the roots out in preparation of cutting the tree loose from the ground.
Booming the tree onto the truck.
The tree as it arrives at the building site.
Brent pressure washing the bark off.
Brent pressure washing.
Keith moving the tree to the house with the sky trac.
Brent scribing the base of the tree level.
The crane setting the tree in place.
Attaching the temporary supports.
Secured in place, and waiting for the roof.
The new look, after we turned the tree around.
Logs ready to be run through the sawmill and made into stair treads.
The treads properly stickered in the drying room.
 

UPDATE: Construction constraints have delayed progress on the staircase.

Stay tuned for future developments......

 

The creation of a magnificent spiral staircase is currently underway in
Bend, Oregon!

Brent McGregor was recently commissioned to build a staircase with the center support being a beautifully twisted and giant juniper tree. The selected tree measures three feet in diameter at the base and stands twenty-five feet tall. The tree was dug out of the ground, keeping the roots and branches intact. The top of the tree will disappear into the ceiling.

This major project is creating quite a stir.

 

November 2002

The client and Brent drove out to the desert to look at six trees Brent had located for possible candidates for the staircase center column. Brent had measured the height with three ten-foot sections of PVC pipe connected together. He also bored the trees with a 3/8” drill to check for rot. He ran pages of notes on root formations, the character of the limbs, diameter at the base and top, and any points of interest. The locations of the trees were marked with a G.P.S. to aid in finding them again. The two had an enjoyable day wondering about the desert and returned home with the decision made as to which tree to use.

 

December 2002 — January 2003

Early in the month of Jan. three of us drove to the tree and spent the morning digging down to expose the roots in order to saw them off as low as possible. We rented a boom truck with which we lifted the tree skyward and set it on the truck. The next day with the aid of front and rear pilot cars, we hauled the tree to the building site. The tree was then set on to some bracing and power washed. We now had a few months to let the tree dry out.

 

February 2003

February found us busy preparing the giant tree to be boomed in to the house before the roof could be finished. Moving the tree from the meadow below the house with the sky trac proved to go as planned, slowly and steady, the tree may weigh as much as six thousand pounds. The boom operator skillfully picked up the tree from the top while the sky trac held the root base off the ground to keep the roots from breaking. We secured the tree in place after leveling the giant base.

After viewing the tree in it's new and final home, we were unhappy with the positioning. The roots and the bulk of the limbs were facing the wall. This seemed like the best position at first for the the direction and location of the treads. But artistically, it wasn't right. We set up a time for a week later to have the boom truck return and turn the tree about 180 degrees.

 

March 2003

In March we knocked loose the supports, picked up the tree, and turned it so the roots came out into the room more. Every thing looks much better. We are happy with the change.

The stair treads were cut from the swelled bases of other juniper trees creating curved treads five inches thick that will be tennoned into the tree.