Ten cherry trees to be moved feet away tomorrow to make room for NFL draft stage

Posted at 11:34 AM, Apr 02, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-17 11:40:32-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The work to remove 10 cherry trees from downtown Nashville will begin early Wednesday morning.

The trees have to be removed so a stage can be built for the NFL Draft.

Initially, 21 trees were scheduled to be removed but public outcry prompted city officials to come up with a new plan. Thousands of people signed a petition over the weekend, demanding the trees not be uprooted.

The ten trees will be transplanted feet away along 1st Avenue North in downtown Nashville according to the Superintendent of Horticulture for Metro Parks and Recreation.

Randall Lantz said, "I hope that everyone is happy about that, this is a good solution to the situation."

Three dead trees along 1st Avenue were removed Tuesday to make room for the cherry blossoms that have to be moved.

"Lantz said, "We actually have 3 completely dead ones and then the rest of them were pre-pits that had no trees in them and they died last year, we removed them, and had just not got around to replanting them."

A local vendor will bring in a large tree spade to transfer the healthy trees from the old spots to the new ones.

Lantz said, "And there's really nothing that should keep the process from going very well, should be easy."

While transplant shock is possible, experts are confident the majority of the trees will survive the move.

Lantz said, "I think it's risky, I mean we're in spring, it's always risky when you dig trees with leaves on them, and these are brand new leaves."

Earlier crews removed grates which helped to prepare the trees for the move.

Lantz said, "I had hopes to be moving them today but we're watering them, we're letting the soil soak in, and we're adding nutrient solutions helping the changes of survivability."

They plan for the process to begin around daybreak.

If any of the trees die, they will be replaced by the NFL.

After the NFL draft stage is deconstructed, new cherry blossoms will be planted in the ten vacant spots.

Butch Spyridon, CEO of the Nashville Convention and Visitors Corps, said his intention was to make the Riverfront area nicer by replacing old trees with new ones. As an act of good faith, the Visitors Corps and NFL draft will add over 200 new cherry blossoms to the city of Nashville.

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