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Mammoth red oak tree to be transplanted on the George W. Bush Presidential Center project site

DALLAS – A mammoth red oak tree is scheduled for relocation to the George W. Bush Presidential Center project site on the morning of Friday, June 10. It will be transplanted from its current location on a part of the Southern Methodist University (SMU) campus property that is scheduled for demolition. The 45-foot-high tree is the largest of the 40 trees transplanted on the project site, either from other areas of SMU property or from other locations within the construction site.

“They don’t make a tree spade large enough for a tree with a 25-foot root ball like this one, so our tree-moving team is using a gantry lift system,” said Manhattan Construction Project Executive Mark Penny. “This gantry equipment has moved the largest trees ever relocated in the world, and it is being used here in Dallas for the first time.”

“We have been preparing this 50-year-old red oak for transplant for about three weeks,” said Penny. He and his team will be following a series of best practices to acclimate a tree of this size to ensure its survival during transplant.

“Our subcontractor, Environmental Design has pruned the roots, encapsulated the root ball and inserted a steel lifting platform beneath the root ball,” Penny said of the process. “They used a four-point gantry hydraulic lift to raise the 245,000-pound tree onto a specialized trailer for its trip across campus.”

On Friday, the tree will travel 2,500 feet to its final location on the north side of the George W. Bush Presidential Center project site, said Penny. On Saturday the tree will be lowered into its new place.

The public can have a bird’s eye view of the tree relocation activities by visiting Manhattan Construction Co.’s project webcam for the George W. Bush Presidential Center on moving day at: Webcam images for this project are updated every 15 minutes and are archived on-line for review.

Manhattan Construction Co. is building The George W. Bush Presidential Center on a 23-acre lot on the campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. After completion, Manhattan will have the unique distinction of being the only contractor to have built two Presidential libraries. The project is LEED®-registered with a certification goal of LEED Platinum, the highest level of the LEED green building certification program.

The 226,500-square-foot building will hold the George W. Bush Library, including the archives and museum, and the George W. Bush Institute. The site includes a 15-acre urban park featuring native landscaping such as a wildflower meadow, a tall grass prairie and savannah and woodland clearings. The project architect is Robert A. M. Stern Architects, LLP. (RAMSA). The landscape architect is Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates (MVVA).

About Manhattan Construction Company:
Manhattan operates from offices in Dallas and Houston, Texas; Tulsa and Oklahoma City, Okla.; Washington, D.C.; Atlanta, Georgia; and Mexico City. The company builds throughout the Southwest and East regions of the United States, Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. The firm’s services include Manhattan’s trademarked Builder-Driven Pre-Construction®, construction management, general building, and design/build. Visit the Manhattan website:

About the George W. Bush Presidential Center:
The George W. Bush Presidential Center is a dynamic hub of ideas, innovation, and action that will include a presidential library to preserve and present the story of the presidency, a state-of-the-art facility, accompanied by a unique web presence, to convene and connect visitors from across the world and an action-oriented institute to develop solutions to global challenges.  In all its work, the Bush Center advances the timeless principles that guided President and Mrs. Bush during one of the most consequential periods in American history, including universality of freedom, accountable leadership, dignity of human life and service to others. For more information, visit

About LEED:
LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is an internationally-recognized green building certification system. Developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), LEED provides building owners and operators with a framework for identifying and implementing practical and measurable green building design, construction, operations and maintenance solutions.  For more information visit: