Thursday, December 23, 2010

Red Oak Down in Petworth

Contributing Writer - Carol Herwig, Volunteer Coordinator

The toughest tree in Petworth has come down. How do I know this was the toughest tree? Is there a way to measure tree toughness?

Here are some numbers: A red oak, it measured 5.5 feet across by 6.5 feet long — proof that not all trees are symmetrical or round. It grew to be more than 60 feet tall and more than 16 feet in circumference in a tree space smaller than the typical Washington DC kitchen. The above-ground root mass was more than 19 feet long. Encapsulated in that root mass — a storm drain and a 2x4 piece of wood

There likely were few mourners when it came down. After 70 years of great service, shading a DC public school in the 1300 block of Allison Street NW where young women and men once went to study cosmetology and other trades, it had become a hazard to the people, school and homes nearby. The center was hollow, chewed away by insects and other creatures of the food chain. I will miss this big oak, which stood as a metaphor for the Petworth that valued families and education above all else. The neighbors will miss for more practical reasons next July, when the temperatures hit the 90s.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

You can still see the tree if you click on the linked address that takes you to Google Maps! Switch to Street View and there it is. A mighty tree, indeed!

At least it will remain there until Google updates the street image.

Thanks, Carol!