By KAROLYN GEPHART
Friendswood is a city known for its beautiful trees with many parts of the city lined with oaks.
When the Albritton Soil Yard closed downtown and the piles of soil were no longer there on South Friendswood Drive, what still remained were four large beautiful oak trees. Recently, a new Texas State Historical Marker has been placed in front of one referring to the former Hadley Grocery Store that was at that site.
When builder/developer Louis Tannos of Friendswood bought the property, the oaks were part of it. When he decided to build on it, many wondered what would happen to those oaks.
Much research, examination by an arborist, redoing of plans and renegotiating of property and placement took place and Tannos reported recently all four trees will be saved.
It will not be without hard work and costs.
The two largest trees on the property will have to be moved. Tannos sought the help of the Bart Beale Corp. who has a master arborist on staff. They move trees and were not taken aback by the size of the two oaks.
“We have moved bigger than these two and successfully,” owner Beale said. They tested the soil to see its composition and because the site had been a soil yard, the clay on the bottom had layers of loam on the top.
“It is easiest if the tree is encased in clay. It acts like a soft wrap around the roots,” Beale said. “This combination soil will not be a problem.”
The tree must have a hole dug the width of the farthest branches to reach the root lines. Tannos reported that a special machine will be built onsite to do the job.
The two large oaks will be moved to a dog and small park area Tannos is creating in the back of the lot. The estimated cost of such a move for both trees is $200,000.
The two front trees with the marker are safe where they are. Tannos repositioned his building front to support their needs for continued growth.