Lemon to Lemon Zest
We had the most beautiful cedar tree that you could imagine within site from our ranch house front porch. We were sorry to see that, after strong winds, it toppled over. Apparently there were very shallow roots in the rocky Missouri soil.
It lay there for several years like a solitary tombstone prominent in the landscape.
I began to dig at the roots in an attempt to remove all dirt from the beautiful roots, not knowing exactly what I would do with it.
Eventually, it became obvious that I should just cut it as close to the base that I could and use it for my loft staircase.
I decided that I wanted to give my cedar tree a place of honor in the cabin. The thought came to me to incorporate it in the staircase to the loft as the "stringer."
I cut the tree as close as I could to the base and, with the assistance of two friends, dragged in onto my flatbed trailer. I heard of a man who had a very large band saw and took the tree to him. He made two vertical cuts, removing an internal plant of about four inches at the thickest end. The two outer pieces would serve as the stringers but with a twist.
Instead of cutting the stringer in the customary zig-zag pattern that accommodates the "step" or tread, we wished to keep the stringer intact as much as possible. The plan was to bolt each tread into the stringer.
The treads were sanded down so as to be more easily cleaned. A coat of linseed oil was applied to the entire surface.The lag bolts were recessed enough (partly out of necessity to reach the treads) allowing a section of cedar branches to be inserted, covering the lag bolts and generally adding to the multi-faceted beauty of the stringers.
Here I am with the steps in place, happy with the results. A sad fallen cedar becomes a beautiful functional part of our living quarters to be admired daily.