ShareThis Page

'The Green Man' sculpture puts life into dying Manor elm

| Tuesday, April 22, 2014, 12:46 a.m.
Stuart Frazer is seated next to his creation that he did for a couple outside their home in Manor Township. Monday April 21, 2014. 'The Green Man' is carved from a century-old Elm tree that was taken down in the winter.
Louis B. Ruediger
Stuart Frazer is seated next to his creation that he did for a couple outside their home in Manor Township. Monday April 21, 2014. 'The Green Man' is carved from a century-old Elm tree that was taken down in the winter.

A North Buffalo wood carver worked his magic with a chain saw to transform a tree stump into a symbol of new growth for a Manor Township couple — just in time Earth Day.

Stuart Frazer, who teaches physical education and health at Ford City High School, carves wooden sculptures in his spare time under the company name Keystone Carvings.

He brought the image of “The Green Man” — a bearded mythological representation of the natural world — to life by carving into the eight-foot standing remains of an elm tree owned by Lynn and Jim Ramage.

The couple, who are master gardeners, are delighted with the results.

“We wanted something benign to match our woodland garden,” Lynn said.

Oak leaves and acorns twine around a serene bearded face and flowing hair. At the base, green shoots of hostas sprout in a landscape graced with daffodils and mature hollies, cedars, tulip poplars, oaks and evergreens.

Lynn pointed out how the natural variations of color within the tree add dimension and a sense of movement to the carving.

“If it got up and walked through the yard, I wouldn't be a bit surprised,” she said.

She and her husband had asked Frazer to do the carving after they were forced to cut down the dying elm.

Frazer has been doing wood carving projects for the past six years, but this is his first “Green Man” carving. He started it two weeks ago and it took him about 30 hours to complete.

He said he had an idea of what the face would look like when the chain saw buzzed through the wet bark. But he wanted to make sure that the image looked realistic and appealed to what the Ramages had in mind.

“You have to dig inside the wood and pull the sculpture out,” he said. “I'm real happy with it, but the main thing is that they're happy with it. It's nice to bring their dreams to reality.”

And happy they are.

“We're just smitten,” Lynn said. “How did he know that man was in there?”

Brigid Beatty is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-543-1303 or

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.