On the surface, it sounds like a small job: Move an oak tree 400 feet to clear the way for an athletic complex at the University of Tampa.
But this 65-foot oak weighs about 250,000 pounds, so the preparation for Wednesday's move took about three months. Employees of Lake Worth-based South Coast Growers have been pruning the tree's canopy, excavating the roots and nurturing the growth of new roots in preparation for the transplant.
Officials say the oak could be the largest grand tree ever replanted in Hillsborough County. The tree has provided shade for decades in the spot where the school's new 1,450-seat lacrosse stadium is being built.