Developer Lauded for Saving Trees
February 18, 2014 -- A Houston developer is being praised for doing the right thing regarding four significant Oak trees on a lot at 3737 Buffalo Speedway, the site of a planned residential development. Rather than simply cut the trees down as others might have done, PM Realty will cover the cost to move the trees to a city of Houston park.
City ordinance prohibits the unpermitted removal of a tree when at least 50 percent of the trunk is in the public right-of-way. The trees at 3737 Buffalo Speedway are located entirely on private property and, therefore, could have been removed without the city’s permission.
“This is a breath of fresh air at a time when the city has witnessed the careless removal of significant trees at several locations by other developers,” said Mayor Annise Parker. “Here is a developer who understands the significance of maintaining our mature tree canopy. I applaud their actions and say thank you for the donation to the city.”
The cost of moving the trees is estimated to be $66,000. Preparation work will begin at the site on Monday, February 17, 2014 and the move is scheduled to occur over the weekend of February 22, 2014, contingent upon the weather cooperating. The trees will be removed from their current location and replanted in large boxes for transport to their new homes. The process will involve the use of a 100-ton crane, 102” spade and an 18-wheeler.
“We thank PM Realty for the donation and relocation of these beautiful live oaks to Wiess Park,” said Joe Turner, Director Houston Parks and Recreation Department. “As a developer, PM Realty, looked at these trees not as a problem but as an opportunity to benefit our city’s urban forest. This is a fine example of a company thinking of what is best for our city as a whole.”
In December, the city announced the recovery of $225,000 from Signature City Homes, its owners and contractors, following the unauthorized removal of two large, healthy and valuable trees in the public right-of-way in Montrose. That settlement and another that followed the removal of trees in Woodland Park in Woodland Heights were meant to send a strong message to the development community about the removal and destruction of city trees and vegetation without a permit or approval.