PHOENIX - Dozens of mature trees are being relocated to different parts of downtown Phoenix after they got displaced due to Arizona State University's law school breaking ground on July 7.
The trees were located on the City of Phoenix-owned green lot on Second Street across from ASU's Taylor Place residential hall, according to RJ Price, a downtown Phoenix spokesman.
A unique Downtown Phoenix Partnership between ASU, the City of Phoenix and DPR Construction will save the 116 trees that had an unknown future when the timetable for construction of the new law school was accelerated.
The partnership recently boxed 43 of the trees that were previously located on the construction site and are now being stored in the space between Valley Youth Theatre and Taylor Place. These trees will be planted along downtown streets as soon as weather permits.
The partnership plans to use the trees to add more shade around downtown in order to become the model for how the city and region's tree and shade goals should be met and exceeded.
Thirty-two of the Palo Verde and Mulga trees located on the outskirts of the construction site will remain in place as part of the finished law school.
Many of the displaced trees, which can cost up to $2,000 to buy new, will be transported to other areas of downtown Phoenix to add onto the streets. The streets around downtown are already lined with trees and the partnership plans to add more.
Some of the displaced trees will fill vacant spots on downtown tree wells along Adams Street which others will stay at the space between Taylor Place and Valley Youth Theatre.
"This is a great opportunity for us to put more established trees within our tree wells to provide more shade canopy, which we desperately need Downtown," said Ray Cabrera, the Partnership's Streetscape Programs Manager. "These trees have had three years to grow and provide shade to those who walks near the lot. It;s only appropriate we try to transplant as many of these valuable public assets as we can."
This project has also created the Downtown Tree and Shade Task force that will focus on education, advocacy and demonstration projects that will help downtown Phoenix become more shaded.