Boscawen tree lives on as a woodland scene

  • The snow from Wednesday’s storm highlights the contrast of the wood carving of what is left of the White Pine tree in front of the Black Forest Nursery on King Street in Boscawen. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • The snow from Wednesday’s storm highlights the contrast of the wood carving of what is left of the White Pine tree in front of the Black Forest Nursery on King Street in Boscawen. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • The wood carving of the White Pine tree in front of the Black Forest Nursery on King Street in Boscawen on Wednesday, November 16, 2022. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • The snow from Wednesday’s storm highlights the contrast of the wood carving of what is left of the White Pine tree in front of the Black Forest Nursery on King Street in Boscawen. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • The snow from a recent dusting highlights the contrast of the wood carving of what is left of the White Pine tree in front of the Black Forest Nursery on King Street in Boscawen. GEOFF FORESTER photos / Monitor staff

Monitor staff
Published: 11/27/2022 8:00:32 PM

Trees are majestic things, and sometimes that’s true even when they’re no longer alive. A former white pine on Route 4 in Boscawen is an example.

“We wanted to add something spectacular and beautiful to Boscawen,” said Suzanne LeClair, owner of Black Forest Nursery.

The tree was one of a half-dozen mature pines that were taken down when the nursery bought the property next door and expanded.

“I really debated about taking them down because we’re in the business of growing trees and plants. … It was a really hard decision,” she said. They cut down and ground up the stumps of all but one because “a few years ago, I thought that tree would make the perfect tree for a carving.”

So the tree crew left about 16 feet of the trunk standing while LeClair decided what to do. One day the decision was made for her.

“Alex happened to see the tree as he was driving by, he turned that wheel so hard and came flying into the parking lot,” LeClair recalled. “I was in the office and thought, who is this guy? I opened the door and he’s like: ‘Are you going to carve that tree?’ I said yes and he said, ‘I would love to carve that tree!’ ”

Alex is Alex Bieniecki, or “Carver Alex” as he’s known on Instagram, who has developed a reputation as a chainsaw artist.

LeClair said she had a general idea of what she wanted. “I wanted birds at the top and going down a woodland scene” with variety, she said. “As people go around it, I want to see something new: there’s a squirrel, there’s a butterfly, there’s a turtle.”

Details were left to Bieniecki who over subsequent weeks turned the trunk and its three large branches into a sort of vertical ecosystem.

“Every day, people come off the street … They’d sit in their vehicles for like an hour and watch him carve,” LeClair said.

Bieniecki has applied a sealer to the sculpture and in the spring will put on a layer of varnish/lacquer for preservation. Either way, LeClair hopes people will enjoy the new creation.

“You don’t have to buy anything. You come into the parking lot, get out and walk around it and enjoy it,” she said.

Black Forest Nursery is at 209 King St.


David Brooks bio photo

David Brooks is a reporter and the writer of the sci/tech column Granite Geek and blog granitegeek.org, as well as moderator of Science Cafe Concord events. After obtaining a bachelor’s degree in mathematics he became a newspaperman, working in Virginia and Tennessee before spending 28 years at the Nashua Telegraph . He joined the Monitor in 2015.



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