The Giant Club

It took me weeks to get this crazily heavy branch into my garden. I named it „Poplar’s Club“, and it was not without danger to get hold of the good piece.

The whole club – I had to pull it behind me like a sledge.

Near our neighbour village, two huge old poplars are dying for many years, damaged by drought, fungi and the notorious fungal white rot. Mistletoe did not kill them but did its part in ensuring that the imposing trees did not survive. The owner let them die in grace, naturally. Huge mushrooms are visible now on the stem and the branches. One by one, branches fall to the ground. Sometimes they just sink and wait for gravity. It’s gotten dangerous around there. A suddenly falling branch can kill you. But the finds from the crown, which the farmers piled up at the edge of a meadow, are extremely interesting.

The two poplars years ago when they still lived. The one at the right ist only a stem now.

These branches housed the mistletoe. And how mistletoe transforms wood is at least as beautiful as the plant itself. In the past, these „lumps“ were extremely sought after in the marquetry. Unfortunately, the ancient craft declined. Today, wood often comes from abroad. And in plantation-like forests, the trees grow straight. Hardly any company still sends people out to find crippling and tree knots in nature. Deadwood is cleared away. Ancient wood crafts often depended on old, natural forests.

The „head“ of the club, is where the mistletoe originally sat. It dies first and holes remain where its sink roots were.

I love to work with small branches that once housed mistletoes. They give me a feeling like magical wands for my art. You can imagine how fascinated I was by this big wooden piece. It is at least twice as big as my head. It’s slowly drying now. Later I want to cut it from the stem. It will be a sculpture made by nature. I don’t even have to smooth the wood with sandpaper. It is silky soft and feels like the skin of a living creature. I visited the poplars every day. This wood talks.

If you love to hear more about nature and my walks with Bilbo, listen to my Podcast NatureMatchCuts!

Holes of the mistletoe sink roots. The wood that grows around the sink roots forms wavy patterns.
Detail with sinkholes and wavy grain of the wood.