MIAMI, June 25, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, one of the premier conservation and education-based gardens in the world and a recognized international leader in both Florida and international conservation, has successfully moved a 75' Haldina cordifolia tree, the only one of its kind in the United States, the only member of its genus (Haldina) and a member of the Rubiaceae family.
"It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience to witness the moving of this exceptional beauty which is among the largest trees in Fairchild Garden," said Nannette Zapata, Chief Operating Officer, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden. "This iconic tree is a treasured heirloom that will grace our grounds for many future generations to enjoy and cherish."
After careful root pruning that took more than one year, the tree was successfully moved to its new location within the Fairchild Arboretum, in anticipation of the ground breaking of the new Rose-McQuillan Cultural Building. The process required two cranes and an expert tree transplantation team. Because of the size of the tree, it could only be moved as far as the crane could extend its reach. The foliage of the tree, shown in the photo, indicates that the canopy is still very dense, an excellent sign of tree health.
The tree was originally planted over 75 years ago by David Fairchild, one of the most famous plant explorers in history (1869-1954), from which Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden gets its name. It was collected by Dr. Walter Koelz, USDA, Beltsville, MD on March 4, 1937, in Nilambur, Kerala, India. Previously known as Adina cordifolia, the tree is native to India, China (Yunnan) and the Malaysian Peninsula.
Dr. Fairchild was known for traveling the world in search of useful plants, but he was also an educator and a renowned scientist. At the age of 22, he created the Section of Foreign Seed and Plant Introduction of the United States Department of Agriculture, and for the next 37 years, he traveled the world in search of plants of potential use to the American people. Fairchild visited every continent in the world (except Antarctica) and brought back hundreds of important plants, including mangos, alfalfa, nectarines, dates, cotton, bamboos and the flowering cherry trees that grace Washington D.C.
After retiring to Miami in 1935, Dr. Fairchild joined a group of passionate plant collectors and horticulturists, including retired accountant Col. Robert H. Montgomery, environmentalist Marjory Stoneman Douglas, County Commissioner Charles Crandon and landscape architect William Lyman Phillips. This core group worked tirelessly to bring the idea of a one of a kind botanic garden to life, and in 1938, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden opened its 83 acres to the public for the first time.
About Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden
Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden is dedicated to exploring, explaining and conserving the world of tropical plants. Considered the greatest tropical botanic garden in the world, Fairchild exhibits some of the tropical world's rarest and most beautiful plants within the tapestry of an iconic landscape design. Fairchild is a one of the world's best science, conservation and education-based gardens and a recognized international leader in both Florida and international conservation. It has conservation programs in over 20 countries throughout the tropical world including the Indonesia, South America, the Caribbean, and Southeast Asia. Fairchild's palm and cycad collections are considered the best collections in the world and are nationally recognized by the American Public Gardens Association. It is also home to the American Orchid Society. The Fairchild Challenge is the largest science-based education program in the U.S. reaching more than 150,000 schoolchildren. Fairchild hosts popular events like the Chocolate, Mango, Orchid, Food and Garden, Ramble and Edible Garden Festivals, as well as an internationally acclaimed Art Program, GardenMusic Festival, concerts, plant shows and sales, and evening events and is the cultural and community hub in South Florida. Fairchild is a not-for-profit organization with 45,000 members and over 1,200 volunteers. For additional information, visit www.fairchildgarden.org.
SOURCE Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden