In a living testimony to a functionally effective government, extraordinary planning, the Catepillar Company and community workers, a land mark was saved to beautify the new Ghirardi Water Smark Park.
The tree was set to be cut down to make room for improvements to Louisiana Ave. The street project is a joint project of League City and Galveston County. Instead of cutting down the historic oak, League City Council voted to have the tree relocated about 1,500 feet to parkland that is being developed into a water conservation education park.
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Hess Landscape Construction Company handled all aspects of the relocation. The contractor started by hydrating, fertilizing and pruning the tree. They have also took soil samples from the current location and the new location. For the excavation process they cut a trench around the tree; an engineered distance from the root ball. The sides of a “tree box” were hand carved and tapered down to create a custom “planter box” for the tree. Crews dug tunnels under the “tree box” so the bottom sections of the box can be installed, one by one. Once all bottom sections were installed, 4 steel beams were placed under the bottom of the tree box and lifted by 2 cranes. The cranes placed the tree on a steel plate that was drug down a grass corridor to the new location. Two bulldozers and two excavators pulled the skid and one bulldozer controlled the back end. Once the tree arrived in its new location, the process was reversed.
The Ghirardi Compton Oak has been a piece of League City’s history for over 100 years. The tree stands 56 feet tall, has a canopy that is over 100 feet wide, and is 135 inches around. It also weighs an incredible 518,000 pounds. The project that took them just under a month to complete. Thanks to everyone involved, the Ghirardi Compton Oak will remain a piece of League City’s history for many years to come. Watch the incredible process from start to finish in this video.
Links to the photo galleries are below:
- Moving Day Photos – http://www.leaguecity.com/gallery.aspx?AID=26
- Moving Day Preparations Including The Lift – http://www.leaguecity.com/gallery.aspx?AID=24