Allen developer saving thousands of trees
(January 14, 2011) WFAA by Steve Stoler

Video Courtesy of WFAA

ALLEN - It has happened time and time again. North Texas developers come in and rip out thousands of trees, some more than 100 years old, to clear land for new neighborhoods and shopping centers. 

But, in Allen, those trees have found a new home nearby.

Usually, when you see bulldozers at a home construction site, it's bad news for the trees. At Montgomery Farm, it's a sign of rebirth.

“It takes a long time to make a new tree
," said Lee Hall, a Montgomery Farm contractor. "You can't just invent one."

The trees being planted at a new house come from different places. Four planted Friday came from land just off Central Expressway, which is now Watters Creek, a popular Allen destination with a mix of shops, restaurants and apartments. Three big cedar elms in front of the same house came from the expansion of NorthPark Center in Dallas. 

“The trees would have probably been sawed down or dug up, and we were able to rescue them," Hall said.

So far, Montgomery Farm has saved 10,000 trees. The replanted trees give an instant age to the look of the neighborhood. Landscape architect Rosa Finsley said the old trees flourish because they're returning to the same environment they came from. 

“If you save what was here and put it back, or at least as much as you can, it's just so much more ecologically sound," she said.

The relocation also makes economic sense. Under Allen's tree ordinance, developers pay fees and fines when they destroy large trees. But, by replanting them, Montgomery Farm has saved more than $1.5 million. 

The developer sets aside an area where rescued trees are temporarily replanted. When new construction is under way, crews move the trees from the holding site to their new home.