Guest Post by our Arborist Bob Brennan

The opinion expressed below does not represent the opinions of nor the endorsement by Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden.


In March, Asi Cymbal hired me to consult with him about the possible relocation of a large African Rain Tree along the New River. As the Arborist for Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, I have more than 40 years of arboricultural experience and truly love trees. Asi spoke of his desire to expertly preserve the historic African Rain Tree as well the 75 other trees on the property. He said environmental conservation was an important part of any of his development projects.

We arranged to meet at in Fort Lauderdale near where the Water Taxi is based. I immediately recognized the Pirate’s Republic from years ago when I visited the Museum of Discovery and Science with my children. I remembered that the water and the railway fascinated them. We toured the property and that’s when I saw one of God’s most spectacular gifts – this magnificent African Rain Tree.

While Asi spoke of the wonder of this tree I told him it would be very expensive to move the tree. He was neither discouraged nor surprised. He assured me that he and his business partners – who live on the edge of a forest and similarly interested in protecting all of the trees on this site – prized the tree and would safeguard it at all costs.

During the course of several meetings I learned that in addition to relocating and preserving the Rain Tree, the development group planned to preserve and relocate many of the other trees on the property and even donate several to a variety of local parks. As an arborist, you can imagine I was pleased to hear that.

I counseled Asi to find a reputable company that specializes in giant tree moving and preservation and introduced him to Paul Cox of Environmental Design. Environmental Design’s specializes in this field and I have worked with them in the past. I found the company to be incredibly professional; they have patented technology that offers a high success rate of moving trees such as the Rain Tree and preserving them. During my 40 years as an Arborist, I have met many so-called professionals and there are very few would with whom I would associate my name and reputation.

We also talked about the need to move the high-tension wires on the property before moving the tree Asi said he was already talking to Florida Power and Light on a plan. Asi impressed me with his understanding of the many variables that needed to be considered before undertaking a development of this magnitude.  He is driven by excellence and expects the best of himself and of those around him. I am honored to be part of the team on this community.

I find Asi Cymbal to be genuine, fair and truthful. I believe he cares about the environment and trust that he is true to his word. He will safely preserve our African Rain Tree as well as preserve the other 75 trees on the property.

Bob Brennan, Certified Arborist  Fl-1059-A
President Brennan Consulting Inc.
President of the “Tropical Arborist Guild”

Posted in Sustaining the Environment
4 comments on “Guest Post by our Arborist Bob Brennan
  1. RJP3 says:

    You are going to lose major goodwill if you fight to move this tree – if it dies, so goes the image of this complex.

  2. Asi Cymbal says:

    The Rain Tree thriving is a critical component of our development project. We believe that taking our Rain Tree out of the construction zone and into a park on the southern side of the project will maximize its opportunity to thrive. We are so confident about the expertise that we are enlisting in our Raintree’s preservation and relocation, that we are increasing the city’s bond requirement tenfold to $1 million.

  3. rjp3 says:

    Wishing you all the best then….

  4. Charles March says:

    Over the past 55 years I have been involved in the planting and relocating of thousands of trees in south Florida. Last year we moved a Rain Tree 1/2 the size with no ill effect to the tree. I recently reviewed the Rain Tree on site and believe the method purposed is the most successful way to relocate a tree of this size.

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