Hand Digging

Large Tree Preservation Using the Drum Stringing Method

For years people thought the only way to move large trees was with a tree spade.  But what if the tree is too tall?  What if the roots are against a building and are not in a perfect circle?  What if you can’t get near the tree to be moved with a tree spade truck?  Answer:  a love of trees and the skilled pioneer of the drum stringing trade. What we do is we drum string the roots of the tree before we move it.  

Drum stringing is a lost skilled trade that needs to be learned and passed on to the younger generation of horticulturalists and arborists of today.  Many of the men who used drum string tree roots prior to the 1960’s and prior to the tree spade, are now long gone, along with their great capabilities in the skill.  

Another influencing factor that has affected the moving of large trees was the leap in technical improvements in the lifting and transportation equipment used during the transplant.  New technology like the large cranes we use for lifting has certainly affected not only the time it takes to move a tree but also the sizes that can be moved and the costs of the job as a whole is great plus for clients.  

About 15 years ago we began experimenting with hydraulic crane lifting.  Combined with the drum string methods have been very successful.  Some root balls weighing in over 285,000 lbs, other hand dug root balls have used over two mile of rope to drum lace up to 28 foot root balls.  Many of our customers have grown beautiful trees are sickened at the thought of taking a chainsaw to trees that have surrounded their homes for 30 or 40 years.  The quick solution of destroying trees that have taken years to grow and become a part of our everyday lives can affect how people views the corporations, developers and private citizens who are responsible for these drastic actions.  With the construction of pools, extensions of homes, and tearing down buildings are other reasons large tree moving has become an important business in our industry.  We have to be careful and do everything we can to help sustain the environment, no matter how big the tree or challenge