Situated within the Island Lake Conservation Area of Ontario, Canada, is the Dods and McNair Memorial Forest Trail, where people have been planting trees in memory of loved ones for years.
After losing his wife Kerry to cancer in April 2011, Eric Landman set forth on creating an ambitious monument in her honour. By special request, Landman was granted permission by Dods and McNair and the Credit Valley Conservation Authority to build a dry stone wall tree monument in memory of his wife.
Dry stone is a building method by which structures are constructed from stones without any mortar to bind them together. Dry stone structures are stable because of their unique construction method, which is characterized by the presence of a load-bearing façade of carefully selected interlocking stones.
The original design
“It’s good therapy. It’s the type of job that is good for your soul”, the professional dry stone waller told Orangeville.com. With the help of their eldest son Jordan, Eric set out on completing the memorial tree that would measure over 10 ft high by approximately 20 ft wide and 5 ft deep.
The memorial involved piling between 50 and 60 tonnes of stone. The main portion of the wall is made of limestone. For the tree section, Eric used a combination of lime and granite fieldstone. Some of them even have a grain that looks like bark for the trunk, while the leafy section was made of local rounded granite fieldstone, with some even covered in moss.
The dry stone wall is the perfect tribute as Kerry was responsible for getting Eric into the trade around 2004/2005. Now working professionally as a dry stone waller, Eric now serves as the Central Field Director for the DSWAC (Dry Stone Walling Across Canada) organization.
On March 20, 2012 the Kerry Landman Memorial Tree was completed. A true labour of love. The Memorial Forest Trail is open to the public seven days a week.
– Thinking with my Hands: A tree for all season
– Orangeville.com: One stone at a time
– Stone Art Blog: True love is set in stone
– The Kerry Landman Memorial Tree – photo album on Facebook
– Wikipedia: Dry Stone
– DSWAC: Dry Stone Walling Across Canada
All photographs courtesy of Eric Landman
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