a Forest, 3,000 Trees at a Time
University of Virginia Foundation Begins Innovative Landscape Relocation
Project at North Fork Research Park
26, 1999 -- Times are changing. Not long ago it was
common practice on a building site to cut down the trees and burn
them to clear the area for construction. The University of Virginia
Foundation is saving 3,000 trees at its University of Virginia Research
Park at North Fork. The trees, about 2,500 cedars and 500 hardwoods
ranging up to 50-60 feet tall, will be moved from designated building
sites to line Lewis and Clarke Drive, the main road into the park.
issues are an important aspect of all design solutions at North
Fork," says Tim Rose, chief executive officer of the University
of Virginia Foundation. A few other examples of sustainable practices
at North Fork include: minimizing mowed grass areas, using parking
orchards which will be planted with five times the normal number
of trees, and planting indigenous species of plant materials to
reduce the need for fertilizers and pesticides. In addition, almost
40 percent of the 532-acre park will remain undeveloped and be allowed
to revert from its farming past to a wilderness preserve.
is a very environmentally sensitive design solution," says
Jim Brown, landscape architect with the Northern Virginia firm of
Dewberry and Davis, who designed a streetscape along Lewis and Clarke
concept is to replicate the existing forest pattern says Brown.
Using a variety of tree sizes representing the natural forest mix
found on the site, the trees will be replanted in combination with
natural earth berms in the median and along the roadside. Small
trees will be planted next to large and oaks next to maples.
is one of the biggest relocation projects in the country. "If
not the biggest, it is one of the biggest in terms of magnitude,"
relocation concept is gaining nationwide support and has been written
into a number of county ordinances in Northern Virginia. A key advantage
is that relocation saves about 50 percent of the cost of using nursery
Tree Expert Company of Kent, Ohio was selected by the U.Va. Foundation
to move the trees. They are the oldest and largest residential and
commercial tree-care company in the world and have been moving trees
since the 1890s, says Robert Craft, assistant district manager in
the company's Chantilly, VA, office. They have provided transplanting
services to the National Arboretum, the National Park Service, Arlington
National Cemetery, the Federal Reserve, and the General Services
project will require 18-20 workers and last about a month. Smaller
cedar trees will be moved first, followed by the larger trees as
the project progresses. Some smaller equipment has been moved on
site. Weather permitting, large tree-spade trucks and equipment
will be brought in the week of Jan. 25.
plays an important role in transplanting. In terms of season, this
is a good time to plant Craft says. "The trees are dormant
and we have a 95 percent success rate. On the other hand, if the
soil is too wet, the big heavy equipment cannot move around in the
extensive study and identification of the native species of plants
and trees was undertaken by Charlottesville-based landscape architect
Gregg Bleam. Species of native plants and trees on the site and
six different kinds of natural habitats were identified. Bleam teamed
with Virginia-based Mitchell/Matthews Architects and the Maryland
office of Duany Plater-Zyberk & Company on the design of the master
plan of North Fork.
design for the park's main entry includes a 300-foot-long stone
retaining wall framed in back by tulip popular trees -- Jefferson's
favorites -- planted in a native grid pattern called a bosque. Work
on this phase will begin in the spring.
Tim Rose, (804) 924-4848.