Newsweek’s Monday headline blared out, MELANIA TRUMP ORDERS REMOVAL OF NEAR-200-YEAR-OLD TREE FROM WHITE HOUSE.
Not just any old tree, but the tree that Andrew Jackson brought some 200 years ago from Tennessee for his wife.
Notice Melania’s sideways glance,
— Newsweek (@Newsweek) December 26, 2017
Oh the humanity! She looks askance and down comes Jackson’s magnificent tree!
But, as Ace puts it, CNN, for once, has the real story, rather than Newsweek’s fake news.
Short story: The tree is in danger of falling unexpectedly. It is currently only being held up by artificial support (cables, etc.), but those cables aren’t enough to keep the thing from crashing to the ground and maybe killing someone or damaging the White House.
I admit it, I’m worse than Melania:
My Princeton house had two dozen trees on a half acre. The prior owners thought any tree was a good tree, so there were saplings sprouting off the ground all over the place, and those had to go as soon as we moved in.
Then there was the female gingko that had been (unsuccessfully) semi-chopped down sometime in its past, and periodically covered a large expanse of the front lawn with gummy, stinking, rot.
And let’s not forget the large cedar leaning over the neighbor’s little house, a.k.a. a lawsuit in the making.
Last, but not least, the 50′ tall elm that rotted from the inside, leaving a huge, HOLLOW diseased carcass still standing.
Melania wisely reviewed the information from the specialists at the United States National Arboretum and decided the tree had to come down. I don’t have that kind of resources, so we got rid of the saplings and the gingko without asking anyone else.
I did consult with the local arborist who did our tree maintenance (yes, Virginia, trees need regular maintenance) regarding the cedar and the elm.
The cedar was healthy, so it was turned into mulch for the other trees. The mulching was done after the chipper had been sanitized to avoid possible contagion from trees that had been put through that chipper.
The elm was dead and came down, much to my elderly neighbor’s dismay, as he could not understand that it was a hazard.
So Melania has a ways to go before her total of felled trees nears mine.
The moral of this story is, trees are living things, and, as such, have life spans. Chop responsibly.
Fausta Rodríguez Wertz writes on U. S. and Latin America at Fausta’s blog
The photo above of the front yard is four years old. No trees were harmed during the writing of this post.