HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - A world champion chainsaw artist from Jones County has turned a dying tree at Southern Miss into a lasting work of art. Dayton Scoggins was commissioned to transform a 30-year-old ailing live oak near the R.C. Cook Student Union into a golden eagle in flight.
The golden eagle is the USM mascot.
Scoggins began shortly after 9 a.m. Saturday and six hours later, the work was completed.
"I hope everybody enjoys it," Scoggins said. "That's the great thing about this, if you leave a mark and leave a smile on people's faces, I guess you did your job," he said.
"It should stand for decades," said Loren Erickson, superintendent of landscape and staff arborist at Southern Miss. "This wood will not rot, it'll just sit there and not decay. That's what we're hoping for is decades of a nice piece of art, instead of just a stump that used to be there," Erickson said.
He also said Scoggins may be asked to work on other trees around the campus.