The 30-year-old 19.5m Betula Pendula, silver birch, was hauled from William Garfit’s nursery in Cambridge and planted in the grounds of a housing development in the south London’s Deptford.
Civic Trees based in Tring, Hertfordshire, hopes the giant will make the pages of the Guinness World Records. The current record holder is a 16m Aesculus hippocastanum, horse chestnut, in the Netherlands, moved in 1997.
The birch weighs 10 tonnes, has a 3m-diameter root ball and needed a 300-tonne crane to take it over a six-storey building and into the second floor basement of the housing development.
St James’ Homes commissioned the job as part of its OneSE8 development, a series of one and two bedroom flats. The tree, which is set within a podium and glass structure, is designed to be focal point of the development’s landscape.
Civic Trees’ managing director Ken Sneddon said: “This has been exciting, not only because it’s a record-breaking-sized tree, but because you can see the effect and impact of planting a tree of this magnitude on a development.”
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