175-foot storm-damaged redwood tree at UC Berkeley removed by helicopter

BERKELEY, Calif. (KGO) — Arborists in Berkeley removed a tree Monday via helicopter. The 175-foot redwood tree sustained damage in the March bomb cyclone at the UC Botanical Garden.

“They have been tying lateral branches into 2,000 pound bundles,” said Andrew Doran, the Director of Collections at the UC Botanical Garden.

Doran says garden staff and arborists with A-Plus Tree Service examined the tree and first attempted removing it using traditional methods. However, they learned the tree was damaged to the point where only a helicopter was the best option.

“When the first limb failed, it took out the top of another limb and cracked the two remaining stems open so they were basically moving apart,” Doran said.

RELATED: ‘Dramatically changed’: Tuesday’s storm leaves widespread damage at UC Botanical Garden in Berkeley

Storm leaves UC Berkeley Botanical Garden ‘dramatically changed’

A-Plus tree service says they had 10 arborists working on the tree and 5 other safety personnel nearby. They first started with the bunches of branches, and then they started lifting the logs.

“We realized that it was the only way to safely and effectively remove this tree off the hill,” said Steve Land, the CEO of A-Plus Tree Service. “Our top staff has been selected, and they have done a lot of big crane removals, which is very very similar.”

Garden officials say they plan recycle the tree after it is removed. The much from the tree will go back to the garden and the heavier wood chunks will be used for buildings

“We are going to use it for projects throughout the garden,” Doran said. “Small projects, railings things like that, but also a new Japanese pavilion.”

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