Several dramatic changes are taking shape here at the Garden as construction commences. Most obviously, the Garden House, which was primarily used for storage and maintenance office space, has been demolished and removed. The House’s white cement retaining wall will also be removed. But most dramatically, all of the plants and trees on de Weese Hill have been cleared by our gardeners to prepare for the first phase of the Cultural Crossing project. Many of the irreplaceable plants and boulders were gifts from the personal collection of Bill de Weese, one of the Garden’s earliest supporters.
Gardeners have been working hard for the last year to prepare the plants for their move to a holding facility at Teufel Holly Farms, a local nursery. The trees will stay at the nursery until later in the project, when they’re reincorporated into the Garden. To ensure minimal stress and the best possible chance of survival, gardeners carefully trimmed and pruned the pines’ roots and gave generous amounts of water with a drip irrigation system. They also hand-dug and moved the roots of other trees.
Then, the gardeners used a compressed air excavation tool to expose roots on larger trees, making a clear line for digging and pruning. Working with an arborist, they made sure that the trees’ roots were properly cut, avoiding damage. Trees were lifted out by a special crane for root balling, then moved to the nursery. A massive 50-foot tanyosho, or Japanese red pine (Pinus densiflora ‘Umbraculifera’) near the admissions gate is the largest tree that will be moved. These carefully planned precautions mean good health for the trees, who will enjoy a second life in their new landscape design.