If you’ve ever seen a renovation or construction in progress, you’ll know one of the biggest problems is working around large trees. Unlike shrubs or grass, it’s more difficult to pick up and replant a tree. This usually leads to one of two solutions: either work around the tree or cut it down.

But the folks at Environmental Design have come up with a third solution by asking a simple question: “Why not just move the tree?”

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Large Tree Transport

For years, the company has used their patented ArborLift process to transport large trees to more ideal locations. Instead of using cranes and heavy supports, the ArborLift uses a series of inflatable pneumatic bladders which help roll the tree to its intended replanting location or onto a truck for transport.

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Before any rolling can take place however, the tree is carefully removed along with its root ball (a process in itself). Once that has been complete, the tree is raised along with a good amount of soil, and placed onto a rigid platform for transport, around the block or across the nation.

For shorter distance transport, a number of deflated pneumatic bladders are placed between the platform and the ground. These bladders are then inflated while a series of excavators and crewmen help push it down a row of more inflated bladders to its destination.

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Once the tree has reached its new resting home, the bladders are slowly deflated, the platform is removed, and the tree is properly replanted. The ArborLift method is used to relocate trees weighing up to a million pounds with 36’ root balls. Massive.

Use of the ArborLift is a lot cheaper than having to use a crane or heavy transport (at least for a nearby move), plus it ensures the tree is damaged as little as possible. This isn’t just good for tree lovers; it is also especially important in areas with ordinances which seek to abolish the cutting of heritage trees.

You can find out more on the ArborLift method on the Environmental Design webpage, and if you want to see more of their tree moving videos, their YouTube channel is chock-full of them.


Carlos wrestles gators, and by gators, we mean words. He also loves good design, good books, and good coffee.