The Phoenix Tree – Myrtleford, Australia - Atlas Obscura

The Phoenix Tree

The trunk and roots of a river red gum tree were used to create this art piece.  


Completed in 1986, this eye-catching sculpture that sits at the side of the Great Alpine Road is a must-see for visitors to the agricultural town of Myrtleford. 

The Phoenix Tree was created by sculptor Hans Knorr. Knorr was born in Germany where he was trained from a young age in the art of woodwork, specializing in making cabinets. After internment in Australia during World War II, he married an Australian author Hilde Dent and decided to set his roots in Australia. 

After Knorr moved to Myrtleford, he decided to begin work on the Phoenix Tree, a work of art that took three years of hard and precisely planned labor. It was commissioned by the Myrtleford Chamber of Commerce and its position on the Western side of the town makes it an iconic sight for passers-by. Knorr was the driving force behind the operation but it took the help of local schools, service clubs, and many others with specialist skills to assist with the project. 

The name was given as the tree depicts a phoenix bird, rising from the ashes to begin a new life. This was chosen as Knorr wished for visitors to consider the similarities to the destruction and revitalization of trees and forests throughout the planet. 


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December 14, 2022

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