Tuesday was moving day at Hemisfair Park after a $75,000 fund raising campaign saved five old oak trees from destruction.
It was just another day at the office for Cowboy Services, moving one very old oak tree out of harm’s way, a total trip of just over two-hundred feet.
Five of these giant trees stand in the way of new construction. One of them is 20 feet tall and 40 by 65 feet wide.
How many thousand pounds? The very experienced crew had guesses that ranged from 53 to more than 85.
After days of preparation and careful rigging, it was time to rock. A few inches at a time, a crane operator gently moved the tree from side to side, much like rocking a baby. But this baby weighed more than 80,000 pounds.
And with every rock back and forth, roots could be heard breaking underground.
The crew did encounter resistance when they found the roots wrapped around an old underground foundation.
“The root ball is growing in an onion shape straight down and around some of them old pillars, house foundations, and that’s why we’re having so much trouble removing it, extracting it,” team leader Cowboy Martinez said.
After a few picks with shovels, they improvised and it was up, up, and away with the crane measuring the weight of the tree at a dainty 110,000 pounds.
The Hemisfair Conservancy, which managed this successful campaign, said that after the beauty is safely in her new home, they’ll start over… four more times thanks to tree heroes who donated to this campaign to save some shade for future Texans.
Here’s a little secret from the tree experts that you can try at home:
The experts say you don’t have to buy expensive fertilizer. They put black-eyed peas in the bottom of the hole before they put the tree in its new home. They say that one pound of peas for every inch of tree diameter gives a transplant a burst of nitrogen. Experts also say that now is the perfect time to plant most trees because this is the season when they are dormant.
Sue Calberg, KENS5