Massive Live Oak anchors Ally HQ in Uptown

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Crescent Communities this fall executed an extraordinary relocation of a 45-foot Live Oak from John’s Island, S.C., to the plaza anchoring its new Ally Charlotte Center at the corner of Tryon and Stonewall streets.

“We love the idea of having a stately green tree year-round to frame the plaza at Ally Charlotte Center,” said Amy Bezanson, director of design with Crescent Communities, which is constructing the new uptown tower that Ally Financial will use as its headquarters. “Additionally, Live Oak trees are planted in historical cities for their character and appearance, and Crescent Communities wanted to give back to Charlotte by bringing in a tree of this caliber.”

Live Oaks are iconic for their magnificent arching branches. The Ally Charlotte Center oak is about 16 years old and measures 45 feet tall, with a canopy span of 26 feet and a trunk diameter of 18 inches. It’s expected to double in size over its lifetime.

Moving the tree involved a complicated series of steps, including digging up the tree and its entire root ball, shipping it along back roads on an 18-wheeler and relying on a crane to lower the approximately 45,000-pound tree into its Uptown home. In addition, 14 Ginkgoes will line the Plaza for a splash of autumn gold. 

“Large trees in all parts of Charlotte are an honorable distinction for our city,” Bezanson said. “Without trees, a city is a landscape of predominantly concrete, brick, steel and asphalt…. Adding a spectacular tree to anchor the plaza and this prominent location seemed like an appropriate homage to Charlotte, a city known for its impressive and beautiful canopy of trees.”