How ginko will be moved by Knowle developer

How the gingko tree is set to move at Knowle

How the gingko tree is set to move at Knowle - Credit: Archant

A beloved tree at Knowle will be relocated to make way for a retirement community if developers get the go-ahead – but how will they do it?

Preparations for moving the gingko into the parkland will begin with an investigation into the extent of its roots, using a high-pressure machine to blow away the soil.

The main roots will be pruned up to two years before the ‘transplanting’ to stimulate growth and give the tree more chance of survival.

It will then be ‘rootballed’ – enclosed in hessian with a non-galvanised chainlink – before a frame is attached.

Rather than lifting the gingko, tree movers Ruskins will slide or roll it along one of the level terraces.


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At the planting site, a pit will be excavated so the tree can be planted and secured, then it will be backfilled with ‘boosted’ soil full of funghi and worms.

An irrigation system will be installed and the tree will be monitored and watered with a remotely controlled system that responds to the seasons and the gingko’s requirements.

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PegasusLife has exclusive rights to buy and redevelop Knowle, where it hopes to create a 118-home retirement community when East Devon District Council relocates.

It drew up its plans to move the gingko into the parkland – likely to be taken on by Sidmouth Town Council – after residents and Sidmouth Arboretum expressed their desire for the tree to be protected.

The developer’s proposals also include a restaurant, an orangery and a ‘wellness suite’ that would be open to the public. It is set to submit a formal planning application next month.

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