League City oak tree finally moved to new home

June 13, 2012 3:52:28 PM PDT
League City decided to save a century old tree from a road widening project, but getting a tree that weighs more than 500,000 pounds to budge hasn't been easy.

They started at 6:30am Wednesday with what they called a "test pull," and finally, 10 hours later, the tree was re-planted.

It is a massive undertaking -- moving a 100-year-old oak tree that weighs 518,000 pounds about 1,500 feet from its home. It has captured the attention of people of all ages, including children from a vacation Bible school.

"We have been coming down here every day and watching it be lifted out of the ground... an educational experience," said Betty Hammond.

The kids tell us they have learned a lot about trees.

"They take in carbon dioxide and exhale oxygen," said Hannah Holifield.

"I saw an oak tree getting moved into a big tremendous hole and it was very cool," said Greta Bolling.

"It's really old and you can actually come out and play in all this space," said Courtney Holifield.

This rare Compton Oak tree that was ripped from the ground to make room for a road-widening project. Its new home is this land that will be turned into "water smart park," a place where people can learn about conservation.

"I'll be excited when it builds the park and we can come on over here," Claire Bourgois said.

The process was delayed several times because contractors learned that moving something this heavy takes a lot of power.

"Overall ended up cutting off the beams they were sitting on and that made the big difference," said Scott Tuma, Construction Project Manager.

The project also cost League City a lot of money -- $200,000 -- but people here say it is worth it.

"That is what we are about in League City, our trees, our oak trees," Hammond said.


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