Money may not grow on trees, but it sure cost taxpayers a bundle to move a bush that was found growing in the path of the Doyle Drive rebuild.
Not just any bush - this was the Franciscan manzanita, a city native that was thought for 60 years to be extinct until the bush was spotted late last year.
With the final bills in, the cost of moving the bush in January came to $175,000 - $140,000 to dig up and move the shrub, and $35,000 for "support" services from geological, botanical and climate experts in preparation for its new home in the Presidio less than a mile away.
The discovery of the 8-inch-tall, 20-foot-wide bush was greeted with cries of joy by nature enthusiasts but quiet shock by the San Francisco County Transportation Authority, which suddenly found a leafy version of the spotted owl right in the path of a billion-dollar roadway.
"We took this very seriously," said San Francisco County Transportation Authority head José Luis Moscovich.