With a sense of irony, many in my adopted home state of North Carolina have watched via the web since spring as League City, a town near the Gulf Coast of east Texas with a population somewhere between that of Cary and Chapel Hill, North Carolina, has worked to successfully relocate a massive, 100-year-old Compton oak tree (a hybrid between an Overcup and a Live oak.)
The 518,000 lb. League City oak was moved 1500 feet to allow county road-widening, while at the same time in my adopted home of North Carolina, we’ve watched a handful of legislators ram through legislation that, unbeknownst to most in the General Assembly, will sacrifice 70,000 publicly-owned trees along state roadsides to clear cutting by out-of-state billboard companies.
League City officials allocated $200,000 in impact fees to move what locals there call the Ghirardi tree which is named after the Italian immigrant on whose land the tree first sprouted. Meanwhile in North Carolina we’re watching our legislature gratuitously surrender public trees which are worth more than $11 billion in lifetime soil, water and air conservation alone ($157,143 each).
And if that’s not enough, NC is even letting the billboard companies privately sell the public timber to cover their costs for removal!
Click here for a short video showing how the huge tree in Texas was relocated to a new park appropriately designed to educate residents about conservation, or here for a slideshow (may take a bit of effort to open.)