Special helicopter mission

Recently we air-lifted six of our mature specimens across the South East to complete a planting project in collaboration with the landscaping team at Green Oak Services. This is the story of the lift.

No job is impossible, no plant too big, and no location too hard to reach for our Garden Design and Planting Teams. In 2019, we air-lifted one of our mature Acers straight from our nursery directly into the garden of our customer’s Kent property. Limited access to their rural location had lead us to take to the sky. We were, it is fair to say, rather chuffed with the success of this operation. The Acer was flown, safely wrapped and suspended in a cargo net below a helicopter, before being expertly planted and shaped by our team. So with this first mission successfully tucked in our belt, we were more than keen to go again and hopefully test ourselves with a greater mission should the chance arrive. When our customer returned to our nursery the following year looking for inspiration to further develop their garden with a bold design of additional mature specimens we were ready to advise and help.

Consulting with our Garden Design Manager, Debbie, on a tour of our nursery, our customer was able to choose and reserve each individual tree from our extensive reserve. Subsequent fine tuning and changes in choice were quickly and conveniently managed using Whatsapp to exchange photos and video calls to confirm further adjustments. In this way, we were able to move quickly to plan and deliver the installation, going from order confirmation to delivery and planting in just three weeks.

Our customer chose six new trees for their garden. One large Pinus nigra ‘Niwaki’, one 150-year-old Olea europaea and four mature multi-stem specimen Acers. A total of 7 tonnes had to be flown by helicopter, each tree separately and securely protected in cargo nets – as quickly as was possible. Careful advanced planning was required to ensure a smooth operation and every detail was considered before the plants left our Nursery for their final destination.

We worked closely in collaboration with our friends, Green Oak Services who had prepared the landscaping of the garden in preparation for the arrival of the helicopter, our plants and our Planting Team. We also enlisted the talents of HD moments to film the occasion for us. So all was ready, and incredibly, we managed to lift and transport all all six mature trees – all seven tonnes – within 45 minutes. All six trees were positioned and planted before the end of the day and tidied and irrigated the next.

Architectural Plants Owner & MD Guy Watts – “We’re very used to managing large scale garden designs; taking care of the logistics, the planning and the planting but this was the first time we’d flown this number of mature plants into place. I’m delighted that we were able to achieve the impossible not once, but twice for this client.”

If you’d like to learn more about our Garden Design, Planting and Creative Maintenance services we’d love to hear from you. Take the first step and fill out our enquiry form ‘Ask About Our Garden Design’ on our Garden Design page or email design@architecturalplants.com. If you would like to visit our nursery to hunt for plants or just browse visit our page Book A Visit to make your appointment.