Back in 2014 thecollegefix ran a story about a strange and extremely expensive tree move.
ANN ARBOR – The University of Michigan has begun the process of relocating one 200-year-old oak tree in the way of a campus renovation project – a pricey, green-friendly effort expected to cost the university as much as $400,000 on a campus that is already home to an estimated 16,000 trees. Regular commenter Wiggia knows about moving trees professionally. He takes up the story -
There is somewhere a group of people who have access to the till of life who spend all their time looking for projects with no benefit to anyone but in their strange world worthy of throwing other peoples money at, plus as usual for those sitting in committee rooms their sense of value is blunted by the soft cosy seats they occupy.
What I found astounding is not that what they were doing was pointless or the fact that they may have been spending within a set period à la public arena, but the sheer cost, I know how much that sort of tree moving costs as I made my living from designing and building gardens and mature tree stock etc was something I engaged in. 3 to 4 hundred thousand even dollars for that is so exaggerated it would have surely raised questions, apparently no. This gives a rough guide to costs.
Not as big as the one in the article, which would involve root pruning a year before encasement and lifting, but even at that size with crane low loader etc I would say no more than 20-25 k and for less than that you can get a mature tree put in place which would be cheaper. Ridiculous quote for a stupid project.