University Of Michigan To Move Centuries-Old Oak Tree For Building Expansion

A centuries-old oak tree at the University of Michigan campus will be relocated to make way for an expansion of the university’s business school. The tree stands 65-feet-tall and predates 1764, according to the Detroit Free Press, and grew for at least 73 years before the University of Michigan relocated from Detroit to Ann Arbor, Michigan.

The relocation of the centuries-old oak tree will take place in October and is part of a $135 million expansion of the university’s Stephen M. Ross School of Business. The towering oak tree currently stands next to the Computer and Executive Education Building, according to Chron.

“The plan is to move it from its place in a courtyard at the north side of the Ross complex, facing the School of Education, to a lawn area off Tappan Street, just outside the main entrance of the complex,” Ann Arbor’s MLIVE explained.

“This provides a very real, active learning opportunity for our students, and that, ultimately, is why we’re doing what we’re doing,” said Allan Cotrone, chief administrative officer at the university’s business school, according to the Detroit News.

The school’s decision-makers felt the historic value of the tree was worth the $400,000 cost to move the tree. The cost of moving the tree to another spot on the University of Michigan campus was included in the donor-funded expansion plans.

Texas-based Environmental Design has been planning how to safely move the tree for months. Environmental Design has moved bigger trees, vice president Paul Cox said, but the tree is “on the large end of the scale.” Environmental Design has images of previous tree-relocation projects on the company’s official website. On Facebook, Environmental Design has mentioned the University of Michigan tree relocation project, calling the oak tree “massive.”

Environmental Design had crews install pipes that will act as a platform for lifting the tree. The company estimates that the tree and earth to be transported weighs between 750,000 and 850,000 pounds. MLIVE reported that the tree is approximately five feet in diameter. The tree will be lifted onto a trailer and then moved to its new home about 600 feet away.

The vice president of the company responsible for the upcoming move estimates the tree’s chances of surviving the move across the University of Michigan’s campus to be slightly higher than an 80 percent chance. A spokesperson for the University of Michigan said that consultants have estimated the odds that the tree will survive the relocation to be around 70 to 80 percent.

[Photo by Scott C. Soderberg, University of Michigan via Detroit Free Press]

Share this article: University Of Michigan To Move Centuries-Old Oak Tree For Building Expansion
More from Inquisitr