BUDA, Texas (KXAN) — A live oak tree standing in Buda for a quarter of a millennium will be getting a new home this month.
The city’s future Municipal Complex will be constructed where the tree currently stands, at the corner of Main and East Loop Street. Buda’s development code protects tree species greater than 20 inches in diameter, classifying them as “heritage trees.”
The live oak is estimated to be more than 260 years old.
JE Dunn, the city’s general contractor, is overseeing and supervising the preparation and care of the heritage tree during the excavating and pre-move activities, the city of Buda said in a statement.
“The prep work consists of determining the outreach of the root system, digging around the root system, wrapping and securing the root ball, as the contractor continues to excavate around the tree in preparation for the move,” said city of Buda Project Manager Ray Creswell. “The entire tree will be placed and secured on a large steel pipe framed platform to safely move the tree intact.”
Starting the week of Jan. 30, the tree will be fully piped and beams will be installed with a chain tensioning system. The following week is moving week. It will take several days to move the tree, the city expects. In mid-February, crews will start cleanup and moving equipment out of the area, as well as finalizing irrigation work for the tree. Crews were originally going to start moving the tree the week of Jan. 19 but the work was postponed due to rain.
The tree won’t be moving far, ending up on the southeast corner of the future municipal site.
You can follow the progress of the tree relocation on the city’s blog.
Residents interested in viewing the tree being moved should park at Stagecoach Park and then walk up the sidewalk along Main Street in front of the Municipal Site. While spectators will not be allowed on the site, you’ll be able to see the tree relocation process through the fence.
The city of Buda says the cost of the project is $232,167.
In 2014, The University of Texas moved 14 live oak trees, to make room for the new Dell Medical School, for around $2 million.