Horticulture department relocates 40 trees

The drive to Demopolis High School got a little more scenic recently as city horticulturist Barbara Blevins and her staff completed a major tree transplant.

The project last approximately three weeks and consisted of the staff moving 40 Natchez Crepe Myrtle trees from Highway 80 East near French Creek to Tiger Drive, the road leading into Demopolis High School.

The initiative satisfied two needs as Blevins and her staff were looking to add some life to the high school landscape and needed a new home for the trees before the Alabama Department of Transportation began work in the French Creek area.

“The way I understood it was they are redoing the bridge down there by French Creek,” Blevins said. “We could either transplant (the trees) or they were just going to take them up. They gave us a choice of getting them and moving them. Right off the bat, we only had a short time frame. We were already wanting to do something at the school, so I decided we would do it at the school.”

The trees are estimated between 15 and 18 years old with the tallest of them reaching approximately 14 feet.

The project was a major one for the department as it took a great deal of labor and attention to move each individual tree.

“I think we dug five up and got five planted in one day. But that took two backhoes and seven employees to get them moved and replanted,” Blevins said.

While the transplanting of the trees is done, the work is far from finished for the department as Blevins said the goal now is to acclimate them to their new environment.

“Now the mission is to get them all watered until the roots get established and we pray that everyone of the them comes back next year,” Blevins said.