Some of the most beautiful winter photographs are of tree branches coated with ice sparkling in the sun. In 1961 Vierl Veal and his family enjoyed this winter beauty on a honeysuckle bush at their home. From that experience, the Ice Tree became a tradition in their home. As you drive near exit 99 on I-74, you might do a double take as you see a cloud of ice erupting just off the highway. For over 50 years, the family of Mr. Veal has created this winter masterpiece dubbed “Ice Tree.” Made by letting mother nature freeze a continuous spray of water over a ever growing tower of lumber, tree branches, twine and scrap metal, the ice tree is a collaboration of mother nature and man-made beauty.
(These photos are from 2014, check the Veal’s Facebook page for current status of the “tree”.)
The Ice Tree is located at a private residence and is created using water from their private pond. Situated on the banks of the pond, the water runoff (and later, melted ice) is able to return right to the pond where it came from! Estimated to be nearly 60 feet at the time of our visit (Winter 2014), the Veal family continues to build the sculpture/structure and hopes to bring it to a record breaking 76 feet (which will beat their record of 75 feet from the 80’s). Bright colors are added to the water and applied using a hand sprayer to add to the beauty of the Ice Tree.
Temperature is the most important factor to grow the ice tree. Generally you’ll be able to see the Tree January-March but February is usually the best time to visit. Please park on the blacktop and do not walk on the snow or ice. It is VERY slippery. You are invited to visit and there is no cost or fee.
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Directions from the Ice Tree Facebook Page (If you enter the address into your GPS, it might lead you astray).
1. From I-465 take I-74 east toward Cincinnati.
2. Exit at #99, Acton Rd.
3. Go south to Southeastern Ave. (1st road) and turn left-east.
4. Turn left at the first drive after the sharp curve.
11333 Southeastern Avenue