Moving Trees

roughhouse-07We recently heard about a Texas town going to great lengths to move and preserve a historic tree, which brought us back to our very first tree-moving experience. It was 2007 and Barbara was tasked with creating a unique, rustic treehouse for Turnberry Town Square in Las Vegas. Only problem was there was no tree to work around. Luckily, the talented folks at Environmental Design had the tree-moving skills to bring in a large, mature tree for some treehouse fun.

02 tree112.x-2The tree would need to thrive in the blistering heat of Las Vegas’ summer months, leading Environmental Designs to recommend a Southern Live Oak. Turns out, a grove of this particular variety was set to be cut down for a new home development near Houston, so Barbara and the Town Square architect hopped on a plane to take their pick.

tree at TurnberryAfter selecting the tree that had the most potential for one of Barbara’s playful custom creations, Environmental Designs skillfully prepared this giant for the 1,500 mile journey. Wrapped in massive amounts of shade cloth with its own misting system below, this Southern Live Oak was the largest tree allowed down the road, requiring special permits to transport.  Additional tree shot-4Once there, Barbara designed the treehouse around its unique shape, leaving room for the tree to grow and provide even more shade as the years went by. It’s not everyday kids get to play in a structure this entwined with a living tree!


Today, the Turnberry Town Square’s play area is a thriving hub for gleeful creative play. Whether sliding down one of the three slides, climbing the rope net, stairs or ladder, or dashing into the wacky Tom Sawyer-style playhouses, Las Vegas children are having the time of their life under the majestic canopy of this Texas tree.

IMG_4283 - CopyIn fact, every time Barbara is in Las Vegas, she stops by to see how the tree is doing. This picture from 2015 shows the community and Southern Live Oak both thriving.

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