Thursday, February 3, 2011

Sixty One Ton Maple Tree Moved By Large Crane At Hospital Construction Site Moved To New Location

Tuesday was the big moving day for a gigantic Red Maple tree located at the former Laurelon Terrace Condominium site, now a construction site with numerous heavy equipment machines constantly at work.

The tree, located on the north east side of 41st Avenue NE, is 50 feet tall, weighs approximately 122,000 pounds which equals more than 61 tons, and is around 60 years old, according to the Hospital Construction Blog. It is one of the largest trees the hospital plans to conserve in the construction and building process.

The tree was moved by a crane and "replanted in the park-like greenbelt along the campus perimeter that serves as an amenity to the surrounding community.  In preparation of transferring such a large, heavy and yet delicate tree, the hospital grounds team worked with seasoned arborists and experts to ensure the move went smoothly," the blog says.

In a January 27th post, the Construction blog describes the preparation for the move Jeff Hughes, Children's Grounds and Sustainability Manger, writes:

This is no ordinary move. It is tricky to transfer such a large, heavy and yet delicate tree. That’s why the hospital grounds team is working with arborists and experts who have years of experience to ensure the move goes well.

Here’s how a team of experts will move the tree:

They will first dig around the tree’s root ball. The root ball will be anywhere from 9 to 20 feet across and 5 to 8 feet deep. They will wrap a galvanized basketing material (burlap or plastic sheeting layered on the inside and metal pipes) around the root ball to form a stable bottom. They will create a temporary and stable environment to house the tree. This holding area will be irrigated and the tree “healed in” and planted above ground by back filling between the tree with a special soil mix.

A crane will attach to the tree and root ball to move it into a holding area on the construction site where the tree will reside for nearly two years until it is transplanted in the new landscape. When possible, larger trees like this will be moved right into their final planting locations, to reduce the cost of a second move.

Saving trees like the giant maple is one way Children’s is being ‘green’ and creating a living legacy of trees and plants.

This move is part of a major effort orchestrated by Children’s transplant  thousands of plants from the construction site to areas throughout the existing campus—a majority of which will be replanted back on the site when construction is complete. Trees that cannot be salvaged will be locally milled and reused.

KING 5 news took some interesting footage of a huge crane moving the gigantic tree to its new location. And the Hospital also posted a video on 

One bulding currently remains at Laurelon Terrace, the one closest to the maple tree. One of the workers said it takes about 10 minutes to take down one of the buildings and all the contents are immediately sorted into bins and hauled to various sites, including recycling and other designated areas.

Children’s plans to recycle over 95% of all materials removed during demolition, including the concrete foundations which will be crushed and re-used on-site for a haul road, material staging area and structural fill.

For an in-depth construction time-line and plant and tree salvage information go to our previous blog post.

Last remaining building 

Close-up of last remaining building

Large crane in the distance used to move Maple Tree. View from north entrance of Laurelon Terrace

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