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Tree-shick!

May 4, 2011

1205 Shepher Street Tree

Props to Rachel and a handful of neighbors for drawing attention to this big old tree at 1205 Shepherd Street, which was recently marked with the “orange dot of death,” indicating the DC Urban Forestry Administration planned its removal. Last weekend the dot was removed!

Shepherd Street’s abundance of big shady trees are part of its appeal. But, in the last few months, Urban Forestry has removed two big 50+ year old trees on the block. We were honestly puzzled, because the trees LOOKED healthy – but we assumed their was a good reason for their removal. So, when we saw this big old oak tree (about 5ft. diameter) marked for removal, Rachel started asking around. Our DC City Councilmember Muriel Bowswer‘s office and our ultra-effective Advisory Neighborhood Commission representative David Tumblin were both very responsive. After the orange dot was removed last weekend, the word from Urban Forestry was that the tree had been marked by “mistake.” Hmm. I’ve been mulling the incentives – does the Urban Forestry administration have an interest in removing basically healthy old trees? This is rank speculation, but presumably old trees mean costly maintenance and risk of damage from falling limbs. What’s the balance between these costs and the less-tangible benefits of mature, shady trees?

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