Look at what one couple did with their beloved tree when it died

Bet Goodpaster/Facebook

It can be upsetting to get a dying tree chopped down, especially when that tree has been a part of your life for years. But Beth Goodpaster and Richard Duncan of Minneapolis, Minnesota got creative when they realized they had to get their dying red oak removed from their property.

They decided to get the remaining part of the tree carved and transformed into “The Lorax”—yes, from the popular Dr. Seuss book. Amazing, right?! Goodpaster posted a picture of the result onto Facebook.

Even though the person they hired to chop down the tree said they’d need to grind out the stump, Goodpaster and Duncan didn’t want to do so. They did some research, then had Curtis Ingvoldstad, a Minnesota chainsaw artist, do the transformation. Goodpaster and Duncan requested that “UNLESS” be carved into the tree stump.

You may recall that the plot of “The Lorax” centered around the character of the Lorax being concerned about the Earth’s ecology, and about its beauty being destroyed. In the book, the Lorax emerges from a chopped-down Truffula tree as a warning to the Once-ler, who keeps cutting down Truffulas. When there are no more Truffula trees left, The Lorax flies away, leaving the word “UNLESS” in a tree stump.


As for the transformed tree stump, “We didn’t want his arms sticking way out,” Goodpaster told City Pages. “Curtis was thinking he should have a nice pensive look to him. It’s bringing some joy, so we are happy about that.”

Now, passersby can see the Lorax, so to speak, when they walk by it en route to hiking the Minnehaha Creek Trail near Goodpaster and Duncan’s home. Some also take pictures with the IRL Lorax. We want to go see it! Road trip, anyone?!

As it turns out, Goodpaster and Duncan are both conservationists and environmental attorneys, so their tree transformation makes perfect sense. It’s also inspired us to do something similar, should any of our trees be dealt a similar fate. As it says at the the end of the book, “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, Nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”


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About the Author
Natalia Lusinski
In addition to Simplemost, Natalia is an ongoing writer for Bustle (sex, dating, relationships, and money), HelloGiggles (pop culture and news), The Delite (feel-good stories), and Don’t Waste Your Money (yep, money issues!). You can also find her writing in the L.A. Times, the Chicago Tribune's RedEye, xoJane, Elite Daily, Scary Mommy, Elephant Journal, and Chicken Soup for the Soul anthologies, among other publications. She has a Ph.D. in couch-surfing, having spent four years sleeping on over 200 L.A.-area love seats and sectionals, all in an effort to whittle down her student loan debt. She still loves couch-surfing in other cities, too (hint, hint).

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