Davey Tree employee, Chris Worley, believes you can wood-turn art from just about any tree species, including maple, oak, cherry, walnut and box elder.
Chris Worley, Davey Tree foreman, looks at downed trees differently than the average human—he sees opportunity. He collects old or damaged logs that are removed or fall from trees after and during storms, then begins to turn dead tree wood into natural pieces of art he sells to people all over the world.
“It’s my main hobby,” he says. “I’ve made a lot of pieces, perhaps thousands.”
Approximately seven years ago, a man approached Worley on the job and asked what he planned to do with all the downed trees on the work site. Instead of hauling them away, Worley helped the man gather some wood—a collection Worley soon discovered fed the man’s passion for wood turning.
What Does “Turning Wood” Mean?
You first have to secure wood away to dry for several months—sometimes up to one year. And once the drying process is complete, Worley selects a specimen for his next wood-turned creation.
Although one wood-turned piece takes two to four hours to complete—after the wood dries for six to 12 months, depending on the size and species—Worley really enjoys creating his product.
Worley spends much of his spare time wood turning bowls, hollow forms and other masterpieces for customers all over the world—but also local charities neighboring his home in Oneida, Tennessee.
Because Worley’s mother and some in-laws have died from cancer, Relay for Life is one of his favorite charities to which to donate pieces for fundraising auctions. His creations and proceeds earned from their purchase have also benefited the Children’s Center and the Boys and Girls Club.
The best part? Worley helps trees live a second life! And he shares his passion for trees with his family who helps contribute to his wood-turned masterpieces.
Check out the photo gallery below for some examples of Worley's wood-turned pieces!