The municipality of Temesvár/Timișoara transplanted a six-ton tree in the city’s downtown Botanic Garden to make room for the construction of a new radiology bunker of the adjacent hospital, the mayor’s office said.
It was yew tree (Taxus Baccata), the plant with the longest lifespan in Europe. Yew trees grow very slowly and can live up to 1,500-2,000 years, but their age is notoriously difficult to determine as their trunk and boughs become hollow with age. They are favored in horticulture and landscaping for their dense and intense green foliage and slow growth. They only need to be clipped once a year, thus are often used for formal hedges and pruning into topiary shapes. Despite their popularity, endemic yew tree populations are an endangered species.
The fact of the transplant was only announced today (Friday) by Vice-Mayor Dan Diaconescu on his Facebook page because the municipality wanted to be certain that the tree has survived.
“It was the largest operation of its kind in Temesvár and possibly in Romania, because the tree weighs over six tons”, Diaconescu said. “We didn’t have to move it, we even had the authorization to cut it down, but decided to save it.”
Plating of the Botanic Garden – with over 200 plant species from all over the world – only began in 1986 but it is among the few downtown natural preserves in Europe.
Title image and video: Dan Diaconescu