In our last blog post, detailing our tree relocation project, we left off as the tree was being piped and strapped down for the moving process.
Since that initial post, 16 days ago, a lot has happened. Most importantly, a 75' tall white oak once again resides on our 15th golf hole. As you can see in the photo below, this tree was crucial to the original design intent of this hole. Although a short par 4, the approach to the 15th green hinged on properly negotiating this tree from the teeing area. A misplayed drive could leave you in trouble, but a long, aggressive and accurate drive could leave you with a short pitch for birdie. This particular tree was the "risk" portion of this "risk/reward" par 4.
Before we walk you through the actual relocation process, I'd like to recognize Erik Hess and his amazing team for an unbelievable job. I'd also like to recognize Lester George, our golf course architect, and Jonathan Ireland, our general manager, for their support and leadership. Finally, I'd like to thank the Kinloch maintenance team for their efforts and the Kinloch membership for their support and patience as we worked to restore the design intent of our 15th hole. This was an unbelievable project that required great teamwork, perseverance and collaboration. At the end of the day, we are very proud of what was accomplished.
Once the root ball was properly secured and stabilized on top of the piping, Hess Landscaping used 4 large excavators to slide the tree. One excavator was at the rear of the tree to provide a lift and a push, while the other 3 machines were tethered together to make the pull.
After an initial pull, Hess realized that the root-ball was being very stubborn. So, using very large steel cables, Hess "cable cut" at the base of the root-ball to relieve tension. The tension was so tight due to the tree's weight (300,000 lbs.) that Hess decided to excavate beneath the root-ball to assist in the "cable cut" process.
Once the root-ball was freed from its old home, the relocation began. As you can see in the picture below, the tree has moved about 10'.
This picture shows the tree in transit.
This photo shows our tree from the tee box. As you can see, the tree is pivotal to the golf hole.
I've included 3 video links below that show the relocation process.