Moving the Forest

A small company helps luminaries such as Kevin Costner and Ross Perot transport mature trees.

(FSB Magazine) -- The best way to uproot 350 Ponderosa pines from a Deadwood, S.D., forest and replant them at a landscaped resort 2.5 miles away? Tom Cox, CEO of Environmental Design (, pulls out the big gun: a 14-foot hydraulic spade. One of five patented spades that Cox's Houston firm owns, it uses ten blades to dig seven feet deep, carving out a root ball as wide as 14 feet. After 30 years of moving trees for resorts, golf courses, and property owned by the likes of Kevin Costner and Ross Perot (Costner's property is pictured), Cox has landed his highest-profile job yet: procuring 400 swamp white oaks and sweet gum trees from Maryland, New York, and Pennsylvania to be replanted in 2009 at the World Trade Center memorial in lower Manhattan.

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