I Admit It; I’m A Tree Hugger

Updated October 30, 2012

I have great reverence for the environment both personally and professionally. I cherish the beautiful, historic African Rain Tree currently on the site and am committed to protecting it. I have marveled at the many lifetimes this tree has spanned – certainly those of my parents before me, and my grandparents before them. I have gone to great measures to ensure its expert relocation and preservation.

How have I done this? I have consulted several prominent arborists, including Robert Brennan, Chief Arborist for Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, about the best place and way to relocate the beloved Rain Tree. Mr. Brennan has over 42 years of experience in aboriculture.

I have redesigned the Marina Lofts development plan several times to accommodate the rain tree and have created the Rain Tree Park, a permanent home for our African Rain Tree, where it will thrive with the most sunlight as Mr. Brennan requested.

There are erroneous reports that I am moving the tree to a small 90’ lot that cannot possibly provide for its survival. I would like to be clear about this: I have created Rain Tree Park specifically for the tree to flourish. It is land designated for the tree to thrive and the community to enjoy. The new Rain Tree Park has been measured by the Chief Arborist of the Fairchild Garden as being a perfect spot for the Rain Tree, both in terms of size and also in terms of its light exposure. In this location our African Rain Tree will be outside any construction zone, will not have any existing shade obstructions, and will also provide shade for pedestrians on the newly widened sidewalk surrounding it.

The dimensions of the new location are perfect for the Rain Tree Park. Here’s why: the Rain Tree Park will provide a beautiful entrance to the community, it will be open to the public to enjoy, it will provide shade over our newly expanded city sidewalk, and we will be able to keep the Rain Tree in its current North – South and East – West orientation, which our Arborist says is a major bonus.

For the North – South canopy of 135′ we have over 200′ of room. We are moving our Rain tree closer to the sidewalk so that it could provide 19′ of shade for pedestrians along SW 5th Street. On the East – West canopy, we allow the Rain Tree to extend 15′ over the sidewalk to provide pedestrian shading there too.

I have hired the most experienced tree relocation company with the highest success rates in the United States – Environmental Design. Tree relocation and preservation is their mainstay. Environmental Design has successfully preserved hundreds of trees larger in size than our Rain Tree. They feel confident in the conditions and in Rain Tree Park — and I feel confident in their experience — that the relocation and preservation of the historic Rain Tree will be successful.

Here is a video from Environmental Design depicting the relocation of Big Al, a tree of similar size to our African Rain Tree, as well as a follow up one year later showcasing the thriving tree.

They have also been featured on the History Channel on Mega Movers.

Environmental Design is most notably recognized for the successful relocation and preservation of the Pear Tree that miraculously survived the September 11th terror attack – dubbed the Survivor – that is now a blossoming tree four times its size in 2001. I am similarly committed to our Rain Tree.

And, here is a PDF document detailing some of their other giant tree preservations.

Marina Lofts not only preserves our African Rain Tree but also 74 other trees currently on the site. Those trees that will not be relocated on our property will be donated to the City of Fort Lauderdale for the community’s enjoyment. We are also implementing green roofs on the buildings, and have created an acre of public, landscaped space.

My commitment to my neighbors and the entire City of Fort Lauderdale is that I WILL preserve our Rain Tree for everyone to enjoy.

Posted in Historic Preservation, Sustaining the Environment
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  1. [...] experience and truly love trees. Asi spoke of his desire to expertly preserve the historic Rain Tree as well the 75 other trees on the property. He said environmental conservation was an important [...]

  2. [...] personal philosophy goes against any kind of destruction of nature and local culture. In fact, Marina Lofts preserves [...]

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