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Why Do Developers Put Trees On Top Of Buildings Under Construction?

February 3, 2017 by Sarah Elles Boggs

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There are many signs that a building has completed vertical construction. Of course, the scaffolding will be removed and there is a celebration/media event, but there is also one lonely tree on the top level. Many people have asked why developers leave those trees on top, and it is quite interesting.

The construction tradition dates back to pre-Dark Age Scandinavian cultures and was thought to appease the tree-dwelling spirits of their ancestors who were now displaced because the trees were cut down. It would also ward off evil spirits from those who ultimately inhabited the structure. The first record of this tradition dates back to 700 A.D.

In modern times, the tradition is continued to acknowledge a smooth construction process and is typically a media event celebrating the project. Even if builders today do not believe in tree-dwelling spirits, the tree symbolizes good luck for future residents, continued growth and celebrates their achievement of completing vertical construction.

When the tradition began, builders used pine trees for the celebrations, many times Christmas trees. In modern times, many different types of evergreens are used. Pine branches are still used in Northern areas of the US, Danish people use Evergreen garlands and it seems only appropriate that we should use palm trees in Miami. Above, you can see the palm tree atop Muse Residences in Sunny Isles. It doesn’t look too happy on top of the 49 story tower, but the residences will have good fortune still.

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Muse Top Off Tree Goldendusk

A closer look at Muse Condos’ Top Off Tree via Goldendusk Photography

Brickell Heights Topoff Goldendusk

Brickell Heights’ top off tree is faint, but is there on the East Tower via Goldendusk Photography

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