Treehuggers May Kill Fort Lauderdale Megaproject

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TreeHuggers rejoice! Of all things to stop starchitect Bjarke Ingels in his plans for world domination, a TREE! Architizer and The Wall Street Journal report that the 80 year old, 60 foot high rain tree stands in the way of Marina Lofts; Ingels' firm BIG planned a 36 story tower in its place.

The developer wants to pick it up and move it, and in the video says he has an arborist than says it can be done. Many (including this writer) are skeptical that a tree of that age and size would survive the ordeal. There is also a 1987 bylaw that was put in place to specifically protect this tree, the biggest of its kind in Florida. In the Sun Sentinel, another arborist gives his opinion:

[Arborist] Chancey studied a possible move for the tree several years ago for the developer who formerly owned the property. Because of the tree's sheer weight and size — it measures nearly 20 feet around the trunk and reaches 61 feet high — such an operation would be extremely tricky. "You can't pick it up, it would be too heavy," he said. The arborist said the tree's root system, large around as its 127-foot-wide canopy, would have to be cut back along with its top. It would then have to be transported by rail to the new site. "That would ruin it," Chancey said of the trimming.

In the Wall Street Journal, Tom Cox of Environmental Design says otherwise.

Relocating the tree would involve a meticulous process, Mr. Cox says. Months before moving it, his crew would prune its roots and fortify it with water and nutrients—"comparable to getting ready for a significant operation," he says. When the tree was ready, they would wrap its root system in burlap, wire and plastic, insert a grille of metal pipes and I-beams beneath it and lift the entire structure with jacks. They would load it onto an enormous transporter, similar to the kind used to haul the space shuttle, and move it to its new home. Mr. Cox says the job will cost in the "mid-six-figures."

In the meantime while everyone argues, it will probably get struck by [insert ethic group here] lightning; they always do.

Tags: Florida | Housing Industry

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