by Marlene Berlin
The “warrior tree,” a magnificent oak, has guarded the intersection of Connecticut Avenue and Windom Place for many years.
The Van Ness Vision Committee gave the tree its nickname because it fights every day to survive, surrounded in on all sides by concrete and asphalt and breathing the pollution from the more than 37,000 vehicles that whiz past on Connecticut Avenue each week.
But even warriors show signs of wear.
Committee members David Bardin ANC Commissioner Sally Gresham (who, like the Lorax, really does speak for the trees) noticed something wasn’t right. Commissioner Gresham contacted Munevver Ertem, our area tree expert from the DDOT’s Urban Forestry Administration, to voice her concerns about the health of the tree.
As it turns out, our urban foresters have had their eye on the tree as well. The tree was last inspected on October 14th, Ms. Ertem replied. The inspectors found this peeling bark near the base.
Ertem also says UFA pruned some dead branches last summer, an indication, she says, something is “going on.” But the tree is still structurally sound and UFA will take another look this spring.