The sight of the proposed treelike sculpture to be placed at Woodfords Corner in Portland filled me with deep dismay (“Treelike design favored as public gets look at Woodfords sculpture,” Aug. 16).

If the city’s Public Art Committee finds it necessary to plant a metal tree on a sidewalk in Portland, the committee ought to make sure the sculpture at least looks like a tree.

One does not need to be a botanist to see that the tangled limbs and drooping heads of the sculpture more closely resemble those of an Indian pipe, a fungus that inhabits our forests, or a many-headed hydra, a nearly invisible creature that mercifully can be seen only with the help of a microscope.

All trees on God’s good earth have green leaves, which show forth that very mysterious, powerful and sanctifying ingredient called “life.” A child with crayons will not draw a tree that is gray from top to bottom, gray being the color of machinery, sullen spirits, concrete and urban decay. Her tiny hands will reach for precisely that shade of green which makes her heart the happiest.

True art ennobles and uplifts. True art helps us see the goodness of God’s creation. How will the people of the Pine Tree State be ennobled and uplifted by the sight of a “tree” that looks like no living tree on earth, or find goodness in “art” that is really not art at all?

Fritz Spencer

Old Town