Honouring a fallen giant: The White Oak Project

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In 2020, in the midst of lockdowns and Covid-19 restrictions, Melbourne furniture maker Alastair Boell and director of the Melbourne Guild of Fine Woodworking undertook what he now regards as the job of a lifetime. On December 27, 2019, a much loved 150 year old oak tree at the Melbourne Royal Botanical Gardens Victoria (RBGV) collapsed.

The White Oak Project that ensued was the brainchild of RBGV Landscape Architect, Andrew Laidlaw, who then collaborated with furniture maker Alastair Boell and Gardens’ arborist Charlie Carrol to transform a fallen giant into a sculptural meeting place that would, in Andrew's words, ‘allow the tree to keep giving’.

The evolution of what is now a popular meeting place was filmed by Nicky Murphy and Zeïna Thiboult (see www.rareamazing.com) on behalf of the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria. You can see their short recap of the project in the video below.

Learn more about The White Oak Project in the March 2022 issue (#114) of Australian Wood Review magazine.


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