Nine-hour move operation saves oak at Rīga bus station

Take note – story published 1 year ago

During the night from June 13 to 14, a red oak at the Rīga central bus station was moved from its temporary accommodation and permanently planted on the Ģenerāļa Radziņa embankment, Rīga City Council said Wednesday.

The transfer was carried out by the full company “RBBL” together with the company “Good trees”  (Labie koki) within the framework of the integration of the “Rail Baltica” project into the infrastructure of the Riga Center.

Those involved in moving the tree said that it had been a technically complex operation that lasted nine hours. The tree together with metal supporting structures weighed approximately 40 tonnes. First, the oak was lifted onto a trailer, moved 150 meters down Maskavas Street and then planted in its future location. Tram lines were temporarily dismantled to allow the tree to be moved. One of the biggest challenges was the need to replant the tree with green foliage. In order to make the oak settle in the new place, it will also need to be given increased attention for the next three years.

Wood handling preparations started on June 5, when tram lines were moved, supports were lowered or removed, and certain underground communications were lowered.

The night chosen for the move was both logical and illogical, according to the Good trees company. It was logical since it was light for a long time, but not so good because of the drought and also because the branches are full of leaves. But arborists like the challenges.

“In the winter we picked it up, it was 35 tonnes, now five tons have come in addition. This is due to the small roots in the substrate we added. And the leaves give a half-tonne,” Edgars Neilands, head of the arborist company, told Latvian Television.

He hopes the story will change the perception of developers and builders about trees. They do not necessarily need to be felled or moved, but there is always a need to find a solution. Communications can also be built without felling trees.

"The hope is that such moves change our attitudes as residents, as designers, as developers. [..] We can save the tree as is!" said the arborist.

The oak was planted in 1964 when the bus station was built. For the Rail Baltica construction, it was planned to chop it down but the plan was met with outrage from residents.

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