Show Disney.com Hide Disney.com
Happy Holidays from the Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort

Story Behind Disney’s Horticulture Logo

posted on November 10th, 2010 by Debbie Mola Mickler, Disney Horticulture


'Liberty Tree' at Magic Kingdom Park

Over thirty years ago a majestic 130-year-old live oak tree (Quercus virginiana) was found on the eastern part of the Disney property and moved about eight miles to the Magic Kingdom Park. At the time of the move, this enormous tree weighed 38 tons and had a root ball measuring 18-feet by 16-feet by four feet deep.

Because of its size and weight, the oak could not be moved by simply wrapping a cable around the trunk. Instead, holes were drilled through the middle of the trunk and steel dowel pins inserted so it could be lifted by a 100-ton crane. Once transplanted, the pins were removed and replaced with sections of hardwood and the wood soon healed.

Disney’s Horticulture Logo

The entire process took several months to complete. Known as one of the most spectacular big tree moves, the oak we call the “Liberty Tree” stands proudly in the middle of Liberty Square in Magic Kingdom Park. It has thirteen lanterns hanging on the tree representing the original thirteen colonies. Our Disney’s Horticulture team was so proud of the successful move, the “Liberty Tree” was adopted as our official logo.

  • Share: 

Tagged: ,

Filed: Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort

18 Comments

1

Jeff from MI on November 10th, 2010 at 11:25 am

Great story and background on the logo! Is there a video of the tree being transplanted? I would love to see that!

2

Marc on November 10th, 2010 at 11:48 am

Thanks for sharing this! I never knew that, what a cool story! Agree with Jeff, videos and/or additional photos would be great!

3

Denie on November 10th, 2010 at 12:00 pm

I knew I loved sitting under this tree for a good reason! Just another reason why this place is so magical! Grins!

4

Amy from MI on November 10th, 2010 at 12:00 pm

I have loved this tree from the first time I saw it! It is beautiful and has a fantastic shape. It’s been a meeting place for my family for many years! Thanks for taking the time and effort to move it!

5

suzanne on November 10th, 2010 at 12:09 pm

I absolutely love the LIBERTY TREE. It is one of my favorite spots to go to. Never knew the story until today about having the tree moved to where it is. Never knew the story of the lanterns until today either. WDW does such beautilful horticultural work all around the place that we are always going “OOHHHH” and “AAHHH” and snap picture after picture. Thank you again for all of the care you put into everything you do. Love going to and visiting Walt Disney World.

6

Shannon on November 10th, 2010 at 12:10 pm

Wow, that’s amazing. I will have to take a moment to gaze in wonder of this tree, knowing it’s history, the next time I’m in MK. :) Isn’t nature wonderful, the way the tree could heal itself? AWESOME.

7

Janine from NJ on November 10th, 2010 at 12:14 pm

I remember sitting under this tree on my Senior Trip in HS with my friends talking about our futures, it had this serenity about it, like a big hug.

8

Jennifer on November 10th, 2010 at 12:15 pm

Just shows how much Disney appreciates beauty and would rather work hard to preserve it than just cut it down & plant a seedling in liberty square. A lesser company would have done just that. Disney has shown time & again that going the easy route is not always the best!

9

Helena on November 10th, 2010 at 12:50 pm

What a great story. Thanks for sharing it. It’s fun to learn these little known facts – makes the visit more interesting.

10

Judy from ON on November 10th, 2010 at 1:10 pm

As a Horticulturist, this is an amazingly interesting story. Thanks and Lord bless!

11

Christine from NJ on November 10th, 2010 at 1:33 pm

That is soo cool to know! Even my 14 year old son thought so!

12

Tim on November 10th, 2010 at 1:38 pm

I first saw it as a 10 year old in June 1972. What would really be cool is to know the ‘above ground’ stats. In other words, how tall/wide was it when it was moved and how tall/wide is it today?

13

Daniel on November 10th, 2010 at 2:44 pm

One thing not mentioned here, that I found incredibly interesting. Disney planted 2 offspring trees from this tree, which are waiting to be transplanted if anything were to happen to this one. Now that’s thinking ahead creatively!

14

Jill on November 10th, 2010 at 8:17 pm

There’s a story that goes with this tree – something about 13 branches and the original 13 colonies. Anyone more familiar with it?

15

Gerald from VA on November 11th, 2010 at 10:05 am

Another interesting tree at WDW is near the Fishing Hole in the Alligator Bayou section of Riverside (Formerly Dixie Landings). I did note with amusement the Tree of Life was also a transplant…but the transplant was an oil derrick and the tree has almost as much wood as the Tikki Room’s roof. (The number of stones in Cinderalla’s Castle is another issue)

16

Alfredo from CR on November 11th, 2010 at 11:42 am

Great story! It is a beautiful tree…

17

Keith from ID on November 11th, 2010 at 10:25 pm

@Jill, you’re correct about the number 13 being associated with the tree and the original colonies, but there is not 13 branches. There are 13 lanterns hanging from the tree! :)

18

Eric from NY on November 14th, 2010 at 2:26 pm

I had understood that they tried to replace the original hardwood plugs that had been removed, but they had become infected and threatened to damage the whole tree. So they were replaced with concrete instead. I have also read the horticulturalists grafted a smaller oak onto the larger tree to attain a more uniform shape.

18 Comments