Crews move cherry trees in downtown Nashville to make way for NFL draft stage

Posted at 6:52 AM, Apr 03, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-17 11:39:51-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF)  — The work to move 10 cherry trees from the end of Broadway to 1st Avenue North was completed Wednesday morning.

The trees were moved to make room for a stage to be built for the NFL Draft.

Crews used a tree spade to dig up the entire root system from a tree pit and then a skid steer carried the trees over to their new spots.

It’s possible the trees could shed their leaves and go into transplant shock; however, crews will be here throughout the week watering them and spraying the leaves.

According to Randall Lantz, the superintendent of horticulture at Metro Parks, the process went seamlessly and he feels confident most of the trees will survive the move.

Lantz said, "The process has gone amazingly smooth."

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.

Once the NFL draft stage is deconstructed, new cherry blossoms will be planted in the vacant spots closest to the river. As an act of good faith, around 200 additional cherry trees will be planted in the city by the NFL and the Nashville Convention and Visitors Corp.

The city apologized and said the public wasn't notified about the game plan because it didn't consider it a "major project."