Downed tree at Edison and Ford Estates becomes an opportunity to give back for one artist

A fallen tree at the Edison and Ford Winter Estates in Fort Myers,

Fort Myers, Fla. – A piece of history toppled on the ground on September, 10. The large tree that used to sit outside the Edison and Ford Estates fell over during Hurricane Irma. And much of the garden is a mess. But one artist wants to help the estates get back to normal again.

McGregor Boulevard at the entrance to Edison and Ford Winter Estates is still busy with people snapping pictures of the large fig tree downed by the storm.

Artist Christopher Obetz was one of them, “The first thing I thought of after the hurricane was how can I help? And I wasn’t quite sure what that was going to be and I didn’t even know that it was going to be an artistic expression.”

Immediately after taking the picture, he knew it was something special. And that’s when he had an idea – sell the picture and donate the proceeds back to the estates.

People loved the idea.

MORE: Complete coverage of Hurricane Irma

Although the tree was never planted to last forever, many are hoping that photograph will only add to the historical significance of the property.

“Edison is all about history. This is a historical moment, having irma come through florida, and so we’re commemorating that moment, not celebrating it, we’re commemorating it as a way to look to the future and keep these grounds going.” Obetz said.

He hopes the picture will help the estates generate revenue for years to come.

Lisa Sbuttoni, Vice President, Community and Visitor relations at Edison and Ford Winter Estates is optimistic “We will be able to replant and regrown edison and ford winter estates to what it once was.”

Like turning lemons into lemonade, many are hoping Obetz’s artwork will represent a greater and stronger Fort Myers.

The posters sell for $25 and you can buy them at They’ll eventually go on display at the Edison and Ford Winter Estates.

MORE: Lee, Collier schools reopen after Irma

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