Forces are marshalling to save the decades-old floss silk tree outside of Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa.
After the local Hind Foundation came forward with an offer to pay the cost of moving the tree, city officials began orchestrating a major effort to trim, move, and replant it at the entrance to Mission Plaza on Chorro Street.
"Everyone's agreeing in concept to move the tree," said Urban Forest Manager Keith Pellemeier.
The Catholic Monterey Diocese must still approve the decision, but spokesman Kevin Drabinski said he expects no opposition: "We're delighted by the idea that the shade from this magnificent tree will continue to fall on or around the Mission."
The tree is believed to have been planted in the early 1960s, but it has since grown to encroach on the Mission's walls, sidewalk, and steps.
The tree has been named one of the city's "heritage" trees: "It's an outstanding tree of size," Pellemeier said.
If the move goes forward, a series of logistical challenges will have to be worked out, and Pellemeier said it won't likely be moved until winter, when it would be dormant.