BrightView Tree Company: Orange County Tree Relocation Project


BrightView Tree Company took on the monumental task of relocating a 700,000-pound Quercus agrifolia (California live oak) to its new home in Orange County, Calif. Standing at 50-feet tall and with branches spanning double its height, the more than 100-year-old oak is the largest tree BrightView has ever moved. The task wasn't easy - it took countless hours of planning and months to prepare and finally relocate the tree.

(For the full transcript, see below.)

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Video Transcription

BrightView Tree Company: Orange County tree relocation project

SALVADOR PONCE, Branch Manager of Specimen Division:

My name is Salvador Ponce Jr., and I've been with the company for 26 years. I'm a second-generation employee and our specialty is relocating large specimen trees.

SCOTT SOPER, Superintendent of Specimen Division:

Today, we're in Orange County, Southern California, at a development. We're moving a Quercus agrifolia, or a California live oak. This is the largest tree the company has ever moved. This is actually a 30-foot-by-30-foot box. The tree weighs approximately 700,000 pounds - it's equivalent to the weight of a jumbo jet 747. The tree's about 50-feet tall and about 100-feet wide. It has about a 45-inch caliper on it and it's a massive tree, as you can see.


We're going to use what they call the Goldhofer - it's two platforms combined together. They are 12-feet wide each and they use a prime mover to pull the tree. What they're going to do is connect the two prime movers into one and make it 25-feet wide, which will fit underneath the tree. The platform has hydraulic jacks underneath the tires that run off a pump. When they raise it, they'll pick the tree up, they will secure the tree to the trailer, and then we'll be on our way up to the storage location. so


We started this tree move with Phase One of it - boxing the tree, completely packaging it up, and getting it ready to move approximately 1/4 of a mile to the temporary storage yard until the tree can be moved to its final location.

Between Phase One and Phase Two, there was about a four-month downtime so the road could be graded and access could be made to the final location where it sits today. In Phase Two, we loaded the tree back up on the heavy-haul prime movers and we moved the tree about a mile-and-a-half. It took about six hours to move the tree from the first storage area to where is lies today.

Phase Two is a much more challenging portion of the job than Phase One and because we went over and above the communication, everybody knew exactly what their roles were and made this a huge success and got it to its final home. People will come sit under the tree and enjoy the tree for generations to follow.

When BrightView first took this project on, the health of the tree was the most important aspect of this project. There are a lot of obstacles in a way and we looked at them as opportunities as opposed to roadblocks. We made sure that we pre-watered the tree well in advance to get the tree hydrated and get the tree on a road to recover before we ever did any root pruning. As a team, with our client, with our subcontractors, and with our team at BrightView, we made this a huge success.

ROBERT CRUDUP JR., President of BrightView Tree Company:

Hi, I'm Robert Crudup, President of BrightView Tree Company. Today, we've completed moving the largest tree in our company's history. This is a 30-foot box Quercus agrifolia, a Coast live oak, weighing nearly 700,000 pounds. We're excited about moving this, the largest tree, as we continue the tradition of growing and selling the highest quality trees in the nursery business in the largest landscape services company in America.