PLYMOUTH MEETING, Pa. – BrightView and Westfield Century City took a renovation project to new heights Saturday by transporting three specimen trees to California’s new shopping center not by truck, but rather from the sky above.
Westfield’s U.S. headquarters overlooks the 900,000-square-foot open-air mall, which is undergoing an $800 million expansion. BrightView has partnered with Westfield on all landscape renovations for the project.
After months of coordination with Erickson Helicopter, the tree installation required a full evacuation of the mall, with the exception of essential personnel, and temporarily closed Avenue of the Stars early Saturday morning. Each tree was secured with a net and then lifted by a Sikorsky S-64 Skycrane, which is a helicopter often used for fire suppression, civil protection and heavy lift construction.
“This was the first time we’ve used a helicopter lift for a tree installation but it could not have gone more smoothly,” said Sal Ponce, superintendent at BrightView Tree Company. “We had all three trees in place within 50 minutes.”
The trees ranged between 8,000 and 15,000 pounds and each required a custom net for the airborne transport. Two of the three trees were previously onsite and were removed and stored while new construction was completed.
“It was exciting to bring these trees back to the site with such an innovative technique and really adds to the uniqueness of this project,” said George Reber, area supervisor at BrightView Landscape Development.
Video footage from the lift can be found here.