Sunday, March 15, 2009
Terrace talk - moving the Big Tree
Finally, after weeks of thwarted plans, we have managed to get good weather with the right grounds conditions and the digger driver, vivaista and team of 3 guys all here at the same time.
The digger required to move the tree is massive - capable of lifting 3 tons - but even then we are not sure it can manage it as the selected tree has burrowed its roots into the underlying rock and the weight of the tree plus soil/root ball and rocks is tremendous.
He digs around the tree with a (seemingly) tiny digger then a net is tied around the root ball with wire mesh and the whole lot lifted up into the big digger's jaws and trundled across the vineyard to the pond where the team is making a hole of the right shape & size and mixing in special bio nutrients to help the roots survive the first crucial weeks. The big fear is that the root ball will break and the trunk of the tree give way.... tension mounts as the huge assembly approaches the site and gently lowers the tree into position. More worries as we have to straighten it up without causing damage. Finally it is there and perhaps a little high but the team build a mound with stones to hold the soil in place and a dish shaped zone around the trunk for watering, which I will have to diligently throughout the summer.
The tree miraculously looks like it has been there forever and casts its reflection on the surface of the pond.