The Deep Ellum neighborhood of Dallas, Texas, is known for its eclectic mix of murals, unique galleries, bars, restaurants, and concert venues. It now has a new claim to fame, though: A tribute to the 300-year-old Ténéré Tree.
Ténéré Tree sat for 300 years in the Sahara desert. The world’s most isolated tree, this impressive acacia was located over 250 miles from all other trees and served as a gathering place for many nomadic tribes.
The Tree of Ténéré was a miracle of nature in many ways, with roots that were driven over 100 feet into the ground to help it survive the desert’s harsh conditions. Unfortunately, the tree met a devastating end in 1973 when a (presumably drunk) driver crashed into it.
The original tree may no longer be with us. However, a few years ago, Studio DRIFT attempted to resurrect and honor it in the form of a massive light sculpture.
Titled Tree of Ténéré, this tributary sculpture stands 33 feet tall and features more than 120 branches, 840 twigs, 12,000 leaves, and 75,000 LED lights. It weighs in at 22,046 pounds (nearly the same weight as an average school bus) and now sits in the outdoor walkway of The Epic in Deep Ellum, Dallas.
The Epic is a unique, 25,000 square foot mixed-use structure that features office buildings, multifamily residences, retail stores, and a boutique hotel. It touts itself as a “pedestrian-friendly area of discovery” that connects modern functionality with the neighborhood’s historic richness.
Prior to its installation at the Epic in December of last year, the tree could only be seen in the desert of Black Rock City at Burning Man 2017. It has a new home in Dallas now, thanks to some extra support from Goldman Global Arts and Westdale Real Estate Investment and Management.
Those who want to check out the Tree of Ténéré can easily do so by paying a visit to The Epic, which is located at 2550 Pacific Ave, Dallas, TX 75226.