I had taken a course when I was first in woodworking school taught by John Alexander, author of the book Make a Chair from a Tree. Somehow, the title and concept always stayed with me, the idea that you take down a tree to make a chair, and this idea of doing the opposite thing, making a tree from chairs, seemed both amusing and serious.
I made a connection with the local tip, or dump, where there is a connected second-hand shop allowing the salvage of discarded items. Apparently, many people dump furniture that is in such a state of disrepair (or so unfashionable), that even the second-hand shop cannot make use of it, and these items are destined for the landfill. The operation, known as Tiny's Green Shed, began saving these destitute pieces of wood furniture for me and my project. I would come with a truck weekly, and there was always too much to carry away or make use of. I decided not to be selective or choosy, but to take the lot as it presented itself and to try to return as much of it as possible to its arboreal form.