Historical development of the transplantation of larger plants

1.1 Transplantation of larger plants in the world

It is a known fact that the Egyptians during the ancient times have carried trees with boats from distances as far as 1500 miles. They did it in order to cool down the dry climate of the Nile River Basin, and to create some shade. Plants in Egypt are being arranged in a formal way. Fruits, vegetables and medical plants are alongside other decorative plants within the gardens. The most commonly used plants are Phoenix, Palm Tree, Lotus and Papyrus.

Ancient Greeks in particular, have worked on issues regarding tree transplantation and tree protection. In relation to this, Theophrastis has carried out a research in 300 BC, on necessary methods to wholly protect the root system during plant transplantation (Nadel, 1977).

From the 15th Century, with the start of the Renaissance wave, meaning "Re Birth", the dark view of the medieval times were broken in the west, great changes were made to beliefs, and fast advancements were made in science and arts. With these changes, living spaces also went through improvements, and trees were once again considered to be used in living spaces. During the 17th Century, tree was considered as a sign of royalty in France, and people belonging to higher classes had planted large amounts of trees at their living spaces. That way, the transplantation techniques of larger trees have developed, and machines to lift and carry these trees have been developed. During this time, tree transplantation has become very important in England. There are also rumours that, thanks to the new methods and machines developed, hundreds of years old oaks have been transferred. Therefore, as early as the beginning of 19th Century, France and England have made great advancements in transferring of trees (Mayer, 1982). On the other hand, many written sources appeared regarding trees during the 17th Century. British author William Lawson has written in 1618 "A New Orchard and Garden" which was mainly about maintenance, repair and aesthetical values of trees. This book is important because it was the first to mention about the appropriate planting intervals. And in the book, "Sylvia", written by John Evelyn in 1664, information has been given on growth features and maintenance principles of trees. Frenchman Le Notre has implemented the tree planting details given at this book in the famous Versailles Palace. During those days, having a large number of trees inside the palace gardens was considered to be a sign of civilization (Nadel, 1977).

During the 17th and 18th Centuries, a connection was also started to be made in England, between settlement areas and the nature. Great squares or open spaces have started to appear during the 17th Century, and they were surrounded by large buildings. Another century later, these squares became the dominant element of London settlement and led to the trees being used extensively within urban areas. When squares were being built, tree transplantation was widely used. Trees started to be considered alongside with urban planning only after the 18th Century. Tree transplantation works at that time were generally used for planting trees alongside the roads within the city. With this purpose in mind, engineer Baron George Houssman was assigned by Napoleon III in 1853, and he started re planning all over the city of Paris (Nadel, 1977). For the tree planting works at that time, 82.000 trees of different types and with a height of 10-12m. were transplanted, which was a real success (Altan and Onsoy, 1982). Fredeick Law Olmstead, who was the father of Landscaping Architecture and the designer of New York Central Park, which was held in 1858, had given works about urban forestation. In these works, he talked about forestation programs, particularly at the road sides in New York and San Francisco (Nadel, 1977).

In modern cities of the 20th Century, there also have been changes and improvements of the tree transplantation principles and methods. During the first half of the century, USA in particular has shown some improvements. There have been academic works in Russia, regarding plant transplantation.

Landscape architects that attended American Fair in Moscow on 1959 have made some researches in order to carry out their transplantation works. In one of these researches, they succeeded in planting a 25.40cm (10 inches) lime tree in the middle of winter when there was frost until 1,22m (4feet) depth. As the soil was frozen, soil fescue was cut with air powered saw, no fastening or molding was needed. Tree pits were also formed by chainsaw. After preparing the pits, metal covers were placed on them and a fire was lighted in it for a few days in order to ensure the heat to stay inside the pit when the soil around it was heated, root fescue was put into the pit and the process was completed. Another interesting event was that birch was to be transplanted in the middle of July. A regular maintenance and irrigation guaranteed the continuousness of the life of tree (Zion, 1968).

The landscaping design made for Munchen Olympiads in 1972 which covered the entire village. 3 years before the Olympiads, 12-15 birches that were 30-40 years old were transplanted successfully. As a result, when 1972 Olympiad games started, it looked as if landscaping in the area had started 30-40 years ago (Urgeng, 1998).

An island system will be built 5-7 km distanced from shores of Dubai, the capital city of the United Arab Emirates. There will be 1060 small houses on the island, 5 thousand people will reside in the houses and 12 palm trees will be planted. The complex is palm shaped which has 17 branches in the middle part; it will increase the length of Dubai shore beaches to 120 km (Anonim 2012 b). Transplantation of trees is much easier today thanks to the techniques and machines that are developed with modern technology. Bigger areas can be planted in shorter times successfully.