Dow’s 19,000 pound tree

Published 8:00 am Tuesday, April 9, 2019

By Bobby Tingle


If you are going to plant a tree and you are serious, then you should consult with the folks at Dow in Orange about two things.

The first is how ambitious should you be?

My son worked on a tree farm when he was a youngster.  Part of the job of preparing trees for their permanent home is planting, growing, digging, transplanting, growing, digging and transplanting again.

To eliminate confusion from the prior sentence let me explain.  

A tree is like a tomato plant.  It starts off as a seed in a little bitty cubicle of soil.  Once it grows a short stalk you take it from its birthplace and place it in a freshly dug mound where it will blossom and provide its wonderful fruit.

Yes, tomatoes are fruit, though some botanists may call it a berry.  Tomatoes develop from a flower placing them, according to botanists, in the fruit/berry family.

A tree just has more steps to make from the tiny cubicle of soil where the seed sprouts, to its first home where it struggles to develop, to its next mound of dirt and ultimately to its permanent home.

Dow was ambitious when they decided to plant a commemorative tree on their front lawn.  They wanted one representative of the community they are now a part of. They wanted one, which weighed one pound for each of the 19,000 residents of Orange.

A tree weighing 19,000 pounds is large.  

Transplanting a tree that size is a huge endeavor.  A healthy tree that size is well established, likely in its permanent home, with a sophisticated root system and likely the dominant plant in the general vicinity.

It likely was selfish with the water and nutrients provided plant life in the soil near it, robbing other plants in its domain of these necessary components of life.

Extracting it, from its perch of dominion, according to my son and his horticulturist boss is a tricky job.

The root system must be dug up with the tree, which is back-breaking work.

The weight must be dealt with using sophisticated yet delicate equipment.

The whole at its new home must be dug to the proper depth and width.

The soil must be prepared, nutrients placed and a watering system employed.

The first few weeks are critical if the tree is to survive.

The larger the tree, the more complex this process becomes.

According to Dow Site Director Jean Algate, Frey’s Landscaping handled the chore with style, grace, and precision.

She boasted it was the biggest job they had ever performed.

Tuesday morning Algate hosted members of the community along with Dow employees and contractors to a good old-fashioned picnic on the front lawn.

The tree was in place.  It looks as if it has been there all along.

Frey’s and Dow should be commended.

It is a fitting tribute to their commitment to this community and its residents.

It is an ambitious task accomplished.

The second thing you need to find out from Dow is who ordered the weather?

The sky was blue, the clouds were white, the air was dry, the grass was green and the temperature was mild.

This is not exactly typical weather for Orange during the first week of April.

Thanks, Dow and Frey’s for a job well done!


Orange County has a new overpass


Efficient access on and off Interstate 10 in Orange County to and from the Port of Beaumont has been enhanced with the construction of a new overpass to productive industrial sites along the Neches River.

The overpass is not exactly on the beaten path, but it is nonetheless an important link for transporting raw materials and products along the nation’s highways and byways.

If you spend any time on our Interstate system of roads you know from observation the prevalence of large trucks moving things from here to yonder.

Industrial activity on the Orange County bank of the Neches River has grown and is poised for continued growth in the foreseeable future.

The benefits for Orange County are already bountiful.

Continued growth will only increase the bounty.

Creating efficiencies in our transportation system can only fuel growth.


Bobby Tingle is the publisher of The Orange Leader.  You can reach him at