Dollywood was a recipient of the THEA Classic Award last year, and Extreme Engineering contributed to the project. The creative team from Life Formations, an industry leader in theming and animatronics, and Weigel show controls, along with Extreme Engineering, built Dollywood’s latest expansion project at Wildwood Grove. Extreme Engineering turnkeyed the entire steel “Tree of Life” tree, providing the structural engineering, design, P.E. stamping, project management and fabrication of the massive structure. The structure had to also meet CWS and D1.1 weld standards.
Dollywood’s “Tree of Life” measures at over 50-feet-tall-by-50-feet-wide. The tree had to include hundreds of custom designed branches that would be easily clocked and bolted to the base. Each branch had to hold over 650 lighted butterflies, including over 9,000 leaves. “The tree looked impressive just with the steel structure alone, but when LifeFormations started adding their amazing theming talent to the branches the tree started to come to life,” said Phil Wilson, Executive Vice President of Extreme Engineering. Custom, hand-laid tree texture was individually applied to the hundreds of steel branches. The custom butterflies were airbrushed with LifeFormations theming experts
The base of the tree was anchored to a thick poured concrete slab that supported the 50-foot-tall structure. The center of the tree was then raised by crane and bolted into place, while the themed fiberglass skin was slid over and mounted to the steel fixtures. Extreme Engineering’s steel tree immediately started to take shape as each branch, one-by-one, was bolted into place. “The installation process was simply amazing. All three teams from each company really pulled it together,” said Jeff Wilson, CEO of Extreme Engineering
Shortly after the Wildwood Grove Tree was completed for Dollywood, the theme park’s celebration of the new expansion showcased the lit up tree with Dolly Parton performing. The tree has become the latest iconic landmark for Dollywood’s theme park. Extreme Engineering will be Gold Sponsoring the TEA Summit this April at Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif. The company will also be celebrating their 25 year anniversary.
(For more information on Extreme Engineering’s engineering design services visit https://extremeengineering.com/engineering-design-fabrication.)