Tree Carver: 'Every stump has worth'

Tree Carver: 'Every stump has worth' »Play Video

CORVALLIS, Ore. - David Hillesland may appear to be your average tree service guy when he brings a multitude of chainsaws to recently felled tree stumps. However Hillesland said he uses his chisel work and chainsaw cuts to create works of art.

"Every tree has a design that it wants to become," Hillesland said."I use everything from chainsaws to chisels, and I make whatever people can imagine come to life."

On Saturday, Hillesland set to work carving a special sculpture out of a 300 year old oak tree. The tree stump is located at the Oak Vale Apartments in Corvallis. He said that since he only has one opportunity to make his cuts, a carving of this magnitude requires a clear vision of the end product.

"I have the ability to visualize in 3 dimension. I tell it what it's going to be and it tells me what it will let me be within those confines."  Hillesland said.

Hillesland has carved more than 200 sculptures since he picked up the hobby in 2008. He started making the carvings to pass the time when he lost his job as an investment banker. Hillesland soon realized that choosing to carve wood sculptures was paying off.

"I just started making money and I said, 'wow, I see a way that I could make a living at this,'" Hillesland said. "Every stump has it's worth!"

Even though it is a profitable, Hillesland said he never lost sight of his his mission of bringing out the beauty in each tree he sculpts.

Only 50 of the many sculptures he has made in the last four years are large scale like the Oak Vale project, meaning 10 foot or above. Hillesland said he expects to be working on that sculpture through Tuesday.

If you are interested in getting a wood sculpture done, go to Hillesland's website.