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27 March 2024

The remarkable tree replacement at Abbots Lane Linear Park

In the heart of Coventry, idverde teams at Abbots Lane Linear Park, faced a unique challenge. A tree replacement task with complexity and scale. The park, previously graced by a ring of six harmonious trees, faced the loss of one. The new tree, a London plane, also known as Platanus × acerifolia, boasting a girth of 80-90cm and a weight of 4.5 tonnes, presented a logistical challenge from the outset. The removal of the stressed tree and its equally hefty root ball, which measured 2 metres across and 1.2 meters deep, was a task that the existing pathways could not accommodate.


The park’s design, with its narrow pathways, was not intended for the use of large machinery. The bespoke bollards and bridge, integral to the park’s design, were at risk of damage from the necessary equipment. Plus, the adjacent road could not be closed swiftly enough to facilitate the operation, requiring a minimum of 3-4 months for approval. It was clear that manoeuvring such mass required a machine that simply couldn’t fit on site.

So, the team turned to an extraordinary solution—a massive 300-tonne mobile crane with a 90-metre boom, strategically positioned 49 metres away, to hoist the tree without compromising the park’s integrity.

As the BALI award-winning park strove to maintain its aesthetic continuity, it was imperative that the replacement tree matched its predecessors in size. The project, spanning 4-6 weeks and commencing in early January, was a race against time, with the planting season drawing to a close. Multiple meetings with various companies were conducted to finalise the lifting strategy, ensuring the safety of the park’s features and the successful installation of the new tree.

The operation was a spectacle, captured by a contractor’s drone. Alongside the London plane, the park welcomed 11 smaller trees, planted with a combination of machinery and manual labour.

The successful completion of this operation was a collaborative effort, with contributions from King Lifting for crane operations, Hillier & Van Den Berk for tree supply, Eden GM Ltd under the direction of Luke Tryner for contracting services, and Greentech for sundries. This project at Abbots Lane Linear Park stands as a testament to the dedication and ingenuity required to preserve our urban green spaces, ensuring that the community continues to enjoy the beauty and benefits of a well-tended natural environment.