New home awaits uprooted tree

To be replanted at Camana Bay roundabout

A Kapok tree is removed from the Swifts property in Vista Del Mar before being moved to Dart nursery for care. - Photo: Taneos Ramsay

Relocating a more than 50-foot tree, roots and all, is no easy task. It takes careful pruning, attention and some heavy equipment.

When Vista del Mar property owners Malcolm and Angela Swift, however, learned that the Dart organisation was interested in a tree located on their property, they decided to take on the task.

The couple had been debating what to do with the kapok tree, also known as a cotton tree, on their property when they heard that Dart was interested in acquiring the same variety for its Camana Bay North Roundabout.

The Swifts decided to donate the specimen, native to Central America and the Caribbean, with Dart assuming the relocation costs.

“[Dart has] borne the considerable cost involved and we are all delighted that this tree will shortly be in its new home where it will have the freedom to grow to a great height and be a landmark for many years to come,” Malcolm Swift said.

“I also see this is a small repayment by me to the Cayman Islands for allowing me the privilege of working here as an acting Grand Court judge and, since my retirement, granting us residency.”

The tree was uprooted and transported earlier this month and is now being cared for at the Dart Real Estate Satellite Nursery.

“The tree will soon have a new, permanent home at the Camana Bay North Roundabout where enhancement works are currently ongoing. The Dart Real Estate and horticultural teams exercised the utmost care and best horticultural practice when relocating the tree to ensure the highest chances of survival,” said a Dart organisation statement, adding that kapok trees are often incorporated into Dart landscaping due to their resilience and their iconic silhouettes.

Kapok trees can reach more than 200 feet in height. Swift said he expected this tree to reach around 100 feet.