5th Street and Yesler Cherry Transplant

A new high-rise near downtown Seattle, near 5th and Yesler streets had been permitted with selected removal of old evergreens. When it came to a 25’ tall, old 28”c (diameter) cherry tree, the community spoke up and the mayor’s office heard them. For years, the cherry provided a fabulous explosion of spring flower that many in downtown Seattle had come to appreciate and look forward to. The tree was one of the remaining, large landscape features surrounded by concrete and glass. The developer was required to save the tree and transplant it, 100’ above the existing location. Big Trees, Inc. was able to make the very difficult hillside transplant happen. Using channel steel to support the sandy rootball conditions and a 550 Ton crane, Big Trees carefully prepped the then craned the tree into a new home overlooking the new building site. The 90,000 lb tree, because it was growing on a slope, required an unusually shaped and heavy rootball. Probably one of the most difficult transplant conditions to extract a tree successfully.

“In this high stress business were in it is fun to do something out of the ordinary once in a while. You and your team did something that I doubt many others could have had performed. Congratulations.”

~Ralph (Lease Crutcher Lewis. General Contractor)
Way to go, Ross!

“The City of Seattle really appreciates that you undertook the task of transplanting this behemoth. I
know that the commuters who pass by this tree daily, to and from the bus & train station, will be happy to know they can look forward to watching this tree bloom again and again. I also know that the tree means a lot to the people who work in the buildings across 5th Avenue from the site.

“I think it was a courageous undertaking and admire your ingenuity and guts.

“Thank you and take a look at the photos!”

Sincerely,
Bill Ames, Forester
Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT)

  1. Cherry Tree flying through downtown
  2. Connecting rigging to the 550T crane
  3. A view from above
  4. Tree rests down 100' above the old site
  5. Lowering the tree into its new home
  6. The following spring
  7. The following spring