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An 8-inch caliper pin oak tree represents the partnership between Kent State University and the City of Kent, Ohio.

How a Tree Transplanting Earns Attention and Respect

October 7, 2013

The breeze weaves faint whispers of birds singing, tractors humming and leaves rustling through the young, slender branches of the trees lining the countryside for acres upon acres. Rows of growing trees blanket the land in groves, ranging from tiny seedlings to more mature specimens with modest canopies.

The Davey Nursery cultivates several varieties of trees for the benefit of landscapers within Northeast Ohio and beyond to neighboring states. But one special tree, standing tall and strong among more than 300 acres of groves, received special treatment to prepare its fate as the marking to its permanent-and significant-location just a little more than 50 miles away.

Davey Nursery tree planting digging
A Davey crew member uses a spade truck to lift the pin oak from the ground to transport it to Kent State University.

So, how did that 8-inch caliper pin oak tree make its way from Wooster, Ohio, all the way to Kent? Follow its journey from nursery specimen to partnership tree below:

  1. Picking just the right tree. First, Davey Nursery Branch Manager Rick Hanshaw selected a robust, healthy specimen for the ceremonial tree planting. The partnership tree is an 8-inch caliper pin oak.
  2. Preparing the planting site. In preparation for the tree planting, Davey crews dug a hole of the right proportions at the appointed site.
  3. Digging the tree from the ground.Crews then carefully dug the tree in Wooster and prepared it for the move.
  4. Bringing the tree to Kent. After preparing it for the journey, the crew transported the tree to the site at the Esplanade.
  5. Placing the tree back in the ground. Once at the site, the crew slowly lowered the tree into the hole.
  6. Creating a great growing environment. Now that the tree is finally situated in its new home, the crew did everything it could to ensure the tree's health, including adding new soil and deeply watering the tree.
  7. An enduring symbol of partnership. After a final pruning and general cleanup of the area, the tree is now set to grow for the next 100 years.
Davey Nursery spade truck
A Davey Nursery spade truck transports the partnership tree from the nursery in Wooster, Ohio, to Kent State University's campus.

Trees, like people, vary by appearance, traits, background-and location. While some trees grow freely in the depths of the forest, accepting and adapting to the placement Mother Nature determined, others grow in spaces more visible to the human lifestyle-in planters, along streetscapes, within parking lot islands and in local parks and residencies.

Whether a tree receives daily attention from passersby, and whether a tree experiences special recognition for the ground in which its rooted, all trees matter.

Davey Nursery tree planting
A Davey crew member backfills the partnership tree at its permanent location on Kent State University's campus.

Davey's donated pin oak tree will forever recognize the public-private partnership of the City of Kent and Kent State University on several development projects. Its permanent location on the lawn surrounding Kent State's recently expanded Esplanade commemorates the new gateway highlighting Kent as a "Rising College Town." A dedication ceremony occurred on the eve of Kent State's Homecoming, Oct. 4.

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