Ocean Springs Live Oaks Move To New Locations - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Ocean Springs Live Oaks Move To New Locations

A massive crane hovered overhead Wednesday morning. On the ground, it was a whirl of activity. MDOT crews are going out on a limb to relocate nearly two dozen live oaks that line the median, and once greeted thousands of drivers as they crossed the bridge into Ocean Springs.

"These trees that are being moved are in the way of new construction of the new bridge," said MDOT Engineer Kelly Castleberry. "Katrina took so many of them out. So this project, we have an environmental commitment to save those live oak trees."

Moving the trees to their new homes, along the north and south sides of Highway 90, is a delicate and painstaking process.

"They're hand dug so as to not damage the root ball system," said Castleberry. "After they hand dig the tree, they take each one of these pipes and drive it up underneath the tree."

A flatbed truck is transporting the trees, and a crane is hoisting them up into the air and into place. Transporting one tree can take up to two days.

Getting the trees ready to be transplanted takes just as much time. Each tree must be graded based on its condition, then pruned. And everyday, the trees must get 2,000 gallons of water.

"I've just never seen anything like this before," said Melanie Bosarge.

Bosarge is getting a front row view of all the action. Her motel faces the newly planted trees.

"I think it's fantastic," said Bosarge. "I have the full property all along the service road, and I have, like, 12 new oak trees. It's like we have free landscaping."

Bosarge hopes to see the trees thrive and continue to be the pride of Ocean Springs.

"It's just a beautiful entryway to Ocean Springs," Bosarge said. "It was just a great idea."

It will take a few more weeks to move and replant all the trees along Highway 90. Once they're in place, MDOT plans to install an irrigation system to keep the trees hydrated.

By: Trang Pham-Bui

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