University to spend $400K to move tree less than 100 yards

The tree is a 65-foot, 250-year old burr oak.

Consultants reportedly estimate the tree has a 70-80 percent chance of surviving.

University of Michigan (UM) officials plan to spend $400,000 to move an old oak tree less than 100 yards from its original location to a more notable part of campus by the end of October.

The 250-year old, 65-foot-tall burr oak, which currently resides on the north side of the Ross School of Business, will be relocated to the complex’s main entrance. The task’s hefty price tag was factored into UM’s $135 million dollar donor-funded expansion of the school.

Environmental Design, a company based in Texas that specializes in the transportation and replanting of large trees, is tasked with removing the legacy oak. UM spokesman Rick Fitzgerald said consultants estimate that the tree has a 70 to 80 percent chance of surviving the transplant, according to MLive News.

The tree’s roots are surrounded by pipes that are designed to help support the tree and create four foot platform of dirt around the root ball. Altogether, the tree and dirt which weigh three-quarters of a million pounds.

The tree will be moved with a pair of transporters designed specifically to move hefty objects—each transport has roughly 100-wheels that operate independently so crews can turn the tree in any direction—will require the temporary removal of all smaller trees in its path, which UM officials say will later be replanted.

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