The upside of aging (really the only one) is that at some point, people are required to start respecting you more the older you get. You wouldn’t knock down grandma just because you had to build a bypass, and according to League City, Texas, you should accord the same courtesy to a really old tree. Which is why, instead of tearing down a 1oo-year-old oak that blocked new road construction, the city had contractors dig it up and move it to a safer location.
This tree is so old it has a name — the Ghirardi Compton Oak. It also has significant heft, since it’s 56 feet tall and weighs about 260 tons. But the local contractors League City hired to move the tree were diligent, building a box around its base to protect its roots and then lifting the whole apparatus onto a bulldozer-drawn steel plate using cranes and steel beams. Grateful League City residents came out to see the tree safely settled into its new home.
Moving can be stressful for trees (Ents excluded), but the Ghirardi Compton Oak seems to be thriving in its new location. It’s a bummer that not all trees have such powerful friends, but it’s nice to see a town so devoted to its antique flora that it works this hard to save a beloved tree.