by Marlene Berlin
It’s a beautiful tree, its magnificent trunk 52 inches in diameter. But the willow oak at 4600 Connecticut Avenue is due to be chopped down in the next few weeks.
ANC Commissioner Sally Gresham, who must never sleep for all that she does, found out about this plan and sought answers. She got some from Vera Ertem, who manages Forest Hills street trees for DDOT’s Urban Forestry Administration. Ms. Ertem provided these photos and clearly laid out the reasons for this action in an email Monday:
“The tree has been dropping very large branches since 2009. Last summer on July 20th 2013, it dropped a 20” diameter branch over a car and caused a significant damage, luckily nobody was hurt.
“There is a large open wound where these limb drops occurred. This wound is at the crotch where the main stem and multiple branches originate. The main stem over the open wound shows signs of decay. There are multiple large wounds from pruning cuts we performed to remove the dead wood or remains of limb failures in the past. Also, the tree is decayed at the base on the curb side…
“After evaluating all these defects and its location being on a very busy street, we believe it has high risk of failure. We decided to remove it now and replace it with a new tree in the fall.”