250-year-old tree transplanted at UM shows life

Associated Press

Ann Arbor — A transplanted centuries-old tree on the University of Michigan campus is showing signs of life in its new home.

In this photo taken on Sunday, Oct. 26, 2014, Environmental Design vice president Paul Cox, second from left, and other crew members discuss their efforts to move a 250-year-old bur oak tree into its new home in front of the Stephen M. Ross School of Business on the University of Michigan campus in Ann Arbor, Mich.

The 250-year-old, 65-foot-tall bur oak, which predates the university, is beginning to sprout leaves, the Ann Arbor News reported Monday. Workers had planned to move the tree 500 feet down a pedestrian walkway in late October, but the transfer stretched into early November after an inflatable air bladder helping to hold up the tree burst.

Chances for survival are high but workers have taken many precautions. They include close monitoring, irrigation around the tree and fertilizer application atop the root ball.

University officials say they expect the tree to fully leaf this year but it might take a few more growing seasons to fully recover.

The tree is in front of the Stephen M. Ross School of Business. It was moved to make way for a $135 million donor-funded expansion of the business school, and the cost of relocation was covered by the donor.

The oak dates to at least 1764, which is 73 years before the university moved from Detroit to Ann Arbor and 60 years before the founding of the city that features the bur oak on its official seal.