Wellen Park, a new master-planned community in Venice, Florida, is spending $1 million to relocate 26 mature trees on site.
Wellen Park’s Heritage Tree Program will not only save these well-established trees but help create an immediate sense of authenticity and scale for Downtown Wellen.
Expected to open in the fourth quarter of 2022, Phase 1 of Downtown Wellen will include retail shops, waterfront dining and other restaurants, a town hall, a kids’ playground and splash pad, a food truck kiosk area, an outfitter equipped with e-bikes, paddle boards and kayaks for enjoying the active lake, and a three-mile health and wellness trail.
“This was the right thing to do both from a conservation point of view as well as creating a sense of place,” said Christine Masney, vice president of marketing for Wellen Park. “These trees are beautiful and worth saving, plus they will allow us to create a truly special environment at the entrance to Downtown Wellen and throughout the community.”
The trees range from 14 inches to 96 inches in diameter, and most are 60 to 80 years old. Annually, the 26 oak trees remove thousands of pounds of carbon dioxide from the air each year while generating oxygen, as well as minimizing rainwater runoff.
Kimley-Horn, a nationwide planning, engineering and design firm, and Environmental Design, a Texas-based national leader in tree transplantation, have been working with Wellen Park on the plan to identify and relocate the trees.
“Root pruning has a rejuvenating effect on older trees,” said Paul Cox, Eastern division vice president for Environmental Design and an arborist certified by the International Society of Arboriculture. “It can increase the life span of an older tree. The trees will be there a lot longer than us and our grandkids.”
When the tree is ready to be relocated, Environmental Design shapes, binds and stabilizes the root ball. Then the complex process to lift and move the tree commences. Because of Environmental Design’s patented process and the conditions at the relocation areas, Cox expects the trees to thrive in their new locations within Downtown Wellen.