Since 1977, the American company Enviromental Design has specialized in moving centennial trees under extreme conditions.
A centenary tree is a treasure, and fortunately there are more and more initiatives that value and seek to preserve these living monuments, instead of cutting them down when they get in the way.
When a tree that is 30 meters high and weighs more than 100,000 kilos is in the middle of a city and prevents new works or changes in the route of highways or the construction of buildings, it becomes a problem. Fortunately, more and more municipalities choose to move these trees with history to safe places, instead of cutting them down.
Moving a tree of such magnitude is not just about uprooting it and transplanting it elsewhere. There are two critical problems to solve: of course not damaging the tree, and finding where to move it in the maze of streets that the city has.
In many cases, as seen in the video, this move involves removing streetlights and traffic lights from the streets so that the tree does not break them with its branches. Institutions such as hospitals and emergency centers must also be informed, because the transfer implies closing streets for several hours.
The transplant process
To move the tree, Enviromental Design begins by digging up the roots, the most critical part of the tree. It then uses a system of inflatable supports that are placed under the roots, air is injected into them and the tree is slowly raised. These inflatable supports can roll on the road, and at the same time serve as a cushion so that the tree does not suffer during the transfer.
In this video you can see one of its operations, the transplanting of an oak of more than 100 years with a trunk of more than one meter in diameter, and more than 150,000 kilos of weight, by the city of Austin, United States
With the help of cranes, the tree is raised to a huge truck, and it is moved to its new location, where it will be replanted.
With information from: