“Tree art by Keith Jennings”
If you look closely at certain majestic oak trees that cover St. Simons Island, it's possible to find one gazing back at you. Either peering out from the trunk (in-between two huge branches) or from the stub of a long-vanished branch, you may see the unmistakable image of a weathered face. These are the Tree Spirits of St. Simons Island -lovingly carved faces emerging from the trees. The images, created by skilled hands, immortalize the countless sailors who lost their lives at sea aboard the mighty sailing ships that were once made from St. Simons Island oak. Their sad, sorrowful expressions seem to reflect the grieving appearance of the trees themselves with their drooping branches and moss. For more information on our Tree Spirits, please stop by one of our Golden Isles Welcome Center locations.
The tree spirits are a lot of fun to locate if you have some spare time. They are carved into old oak trees all around the island. In the old days, sailing ships were made out of oak found on St. Simon's Island, and Mr. Jennings carved faces into about 15 different trees, signifying the loss of lives at sea. There is a google map which vaguely shows where some of the tree spirits are located, but it still involves quite a bit of searching. Very cool. The link below is the google map...although there are a few new ones not yet marked on the map. Happy searching,.
Legend has it the images pay homage to sailors who lost their lives at sea aboard sailing ships that were once made from the mighty St. Simon’s Island oak trees. Finding one is like finding a lost treasure.
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The Tree Spirits of St. Simons Island
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