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Cincinnati’s Highfield Discovery Garden for children is dubbed “A place for growing.” At the center of the Garden is the Discovery Tree, a 25-foot tall interactive artificial tree. Here visitors can explore inside the tree and a tree house to learn what creatures call this place home.

The Discovery Tree was constructed by Interactive Playco, Franklin, Tenn. The artists and sculptors from Interactive Playco turned steel, wood, wire foam and spray polyurethane resin into a whimsical display that educates and entertains. It is constructed with structural steel and piping to form the skeleton of the tree. This structural base is wrapped with chicken wire and lightweight mesh to form the basic shape of the tree. Over this is spray-applied polyurethane foam. The polyurethane foam is carved to form the mouth, eyes and cheeks on the tree.

Next, the otherwise lightweight polyurethane foam is spray coated with 50 mils of a two-component polyurethane resin followed by primer to ensure a permanent bond for the scenic paint. Since this is an exterior application, the entire tree is protected with a clear UV resistant top coat.

The tree was dismantled at the factory, cut into shippable pieces and reassembled on site.

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