Shepherd Street Residents Saddened By Loss of Large Trees

1300 block Shepherd Street, NW

Dear PoPville,

I was dismayed to see three old growth trees come down this week on the 1300 block of Shepherd St, NW. As a resident I’m not at all convinced that these trees were dead, and one (north side) did not cross any visible power lines. I know that Pepco has had to deal with the significant challenge of fallen trees after storms and consequent power interruptions, but this seems like such a poor solution. Our city is already so heavily concrete and these aged trees provide the shade that is so desperately needed by humans and every other form of life. It would be great to get an explanation if there is one, and also a dialogue on new solutions.

Another reader looked into it and found out from:

Three large trees were taken down closer to 13th street on Shepherd. Earl Eustler and Rob Corletta from DDOT met with me early morning on Thursday the 14th as the big trucks rolled up. They were really nice and explained why each tree got taken down. Two trees made total sense, one was not that compelling of an argument, but it was already down so there wasn’t anything really to discuss. They said new ones wouldn’t be planted til next winter. So, we’re trying to get permits to plant our own, but we can’t plant any species that will grow big. They’re only planting small growth trees on powerline sides of the street.

One thing to note though is that the tree service map on DDOT’s website only has “scheduled & routine tree service” indicated on the map. Ours was considered “emergency” so that’s why it wasn’t mapped out. DDOT says they don’t currently put emergency tree service on the maps.

9 Comment

  • ah

    The tree (or former tree) pictured looks far too big for the small amount of space between the sidewalk and street. It was likely neither safe nor healthy in those conditions.

  • Hopefully new trees will be planted in their place, and the growth of new life will help to cheer you up again 🙂

  • I’m curious, what were the reason(s) for cutting them down? We have trees that big in the Palisades, some of which have been pruned in crazy contorted shapes in order to avoid power lines.

  • DDOT cut down the tree in front of our house that was perfectly healthy. It was sad to lose the shade and greenery. BUT, then, they planted a whole bunch of new trees – flowering cherry trees! So overall it worked out great. But losing the towering old oaks is sad indeed. Hope they do their best to avoid cutting down the glorious old Elms around town.

  • Imagine every tree has as much going con underground as above. That dotes something to roads and sidewalks.

  • Sounds like Corletta is already on it. Still, it’s always unfortunate to see larger trees go.

    Another note: Some of the pruning in the area has been really atrocious. I let one of the ward arborists know already, but please let your arborist know, as well, if you’re in the Columbia Heights/Petworth area. Their contractor did a real rush job, leaving open scrapes and excessive cutting damage.

  • when looking at this tree on google street view you can see an orange blaze on the trunk. that means they’ve been planning on chopping it down for a while now.

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