BILOXI -- For every Live oak tree taken down to build the baseball stadium an equal number will be planted on or near the site, say team and city officials, and some of the oaks may be used to restore iconic ships.
"I don't want to transplant any trees," said Eric Nolan, Biloxi's arborist. The risk to the trees is too high, he said, and the cost of more than $40,000 per tree is too much to move them.
Instead he suggests the 20 trees be replaced with the largest diameter container trees that can be purchased in the region.
Ten-inch container trees available in Lafayette, La., sell for about $10,000 each, he said.
The architects changed the stadium design to save more trees and plans call for Live oaks to be planted at the perimeter of the stadium.
"In the initial construction we're going to plant back every one," said Tim Bennett, president of Overtime Sports and part-owner of the minor league baseball team.
If there isn't room at the stadium, Nolan said adjacent Caillavet Street needs landscaping and already has irrigation in the median.
"I want to keep them as close to the stadium as possible," Noble said.
The trees that will come down, if the Biloxi Council approves the plans for the stadium at a special meeting Tuesday, are eyed for use at the stadium and at Mystic Seaport in Connecticut.
"We're always on the lookout for wood," said Quentin Snediker, shipyard director at Mystic Seaport.
After Hurricane Katrina, 300 tons of wood -- downed at Tullis Manor and Beauvoir in Biloxi and all along the Coast to Pass Christian -- was trucked to the New England shipyard. Much of it was used in the seaport's $7 million restoration of the Charles W. Morgan, the world's last surviving wooden whaling ship. That project is being completed and Snediker said, "We've got another vessel that in a couple of years we will be restoring."
In addition to that fishing schooner, the L.A. Dunton, he said the seaport's 1908 steamboat Sabino, a national historic landmark, also needs work.
Wood from Live oak trees is highly desirable, he said, because the gentle sweeping curves of the tree are analogous to a ship.
"It's extremely durable. It doesn't rot. It's also very dense and strong," he said.
He was tipped off about the possibility of Live oaks coming down in Biloxi and said he's talked to Nolan and architect Leigh Jaunsen with Dale Associates about getting some of the wood.
Bennett said the Live oak wood also may be used for sculptures or architectural elements at the stadium.
In addition to the trees that will be planted when the stadium is done to replace the trees removed, Bennett has pledged to plant two trees every year for 20 years at a site chosen by the Biloxi mayor.