Doomed trees reborn as art in Warsaw's Fairytale Square

Doomed trees reborn as art in Warsaw's Fairytale Square
Children watch a sculpture carved from the trunk of a tree in Warsaw, Poland, Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018. Local residents decided to make use of the remains of sick trees and offered the chance for chainsaw artist Andrzej Zawadzki to create fairy tale sculptures.(AP Photo/Alik Keplicz)

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — To residents of one Warsaw neighborhood, the rotting trees in Fairytale Square didn’t deserve a sad ending.

So instead of being hauled off to the chipper, several meters’ of the trees’ weak trunks were allowed to remain standing and carved into playful sculptures.

Barbara Laszczkowska, an activist in Warsaw’s Ochota district, came up with the idea for the trees in Plac Basniowy — Polish for Fairytale Square.

Laszczkowska found a sculptor who used a chain saw to create three fanciful creations: an owl sitting on books; an elf under a mushroom; and a floppy-eared teddy bear known as Mis Uszatek, a beloved Polish cartoon character.

City officials ordered the trees removed, fearing they could topple during storms. A gardening company agreed to sponsor artist Andrzej Zawadzki’s work.