The Stanley Park Hollow Tree Conservation Society asked M&L to help conserve the ancient Western red cedar.
The Hollow Tree of Stanley Park in Vancouver is an ancient Western red cedar that is approximately 700 - 800 years old. It has grown hollow over many years and since Stanley Park was first established in 1888, it has been a prominent tourist attraction for Vancouver. The tree died many years ago and is now a massive stump which rests on its wide buttressed root system. Photo archives are filled with pictures of people posing in or beside the tree.
In 2006 a winter storm ravaged Stanley Park and pushed the tree significantly out of plumb to the point that in 2008 the Parks Board deemed it unsafe, leaving no other option but to plan for its removal. At this news, a grass roots movement began in the hopes to save the tree. The Stanley Park Hollow Tree Conservation Society was formed. Fund raising efforts by the Society enabled the creation of a conservation plan and M&L were asked to play a part.
This was an unusual project for us and required some ingenuity, but we love challenges and welcomed the opportunity to conserve this cultural icon for Vancouver. Our first task was to stabilize the tree which was now leaning at an alarming angle. Two temporary foundations were installed along with two heavy timber props and steel wire guy lines to hold the tree in its current position. The next phase was to lift the tree back to an upright position using a large crane and stabilize it there. After righting the tree, a concrete foundation with steel micro piles was formed under it and a discreet system of steel tubes were fastened inside the tree and connected to the foundation.
In December 2009 the work was completed and the tree re-opened to the public and will doubtless continue to be a landmark for Vancouver and its visitors for many years to come.