See Ya, Stumpy | God's World News
See Ya, Stumpy
News Shorts
Posted: March 22, 2024
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    Visitors photograph a cherry tree affectionally nicknamed “Stumpy” at the Tidal Basin in Washington, D.C. (AP/Andrew Harnik)
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    The Jefferson Memorial is on the banks of the Tidal Basin. (AP/Pablo Martinez Monsvais)
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    Visitors to the Tidal Basin view cherry trees in peak bloom. (AP/Pablo Martinez Monsvais)
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Say goodbye to Stumpy, a gnarled old cherry tree in Washington, D.C. This year’s cherry blossom festivities will be the last for the famous tree. Workers will cut down Stumpy and about 139 other cherry trees.

Visitors might miss the trees. However, there’s a good reason for the chopping. The trees stand around the Tidal Basin on the Potomac River. A seawall there holds back the water. At least, it’s supposed to hold it back. But these days, the wall is crumbling. Water often surges over the barriers. This summer, crews will start replacing the seawall. The project will cost $133 million. It will take about three years.

Currently, high tide floods the area twice each day. Water covers walking paths. It soaks cherry tree roots. The salty water has killed many cherry trees already. Stumpy remains alive. But he’s in rough shape.

Here’s the plan: Workers will cut down 140 cherry trees and turn them into mulch. When the project ends, 277 cherry trees will be planted as replacements. The old trees will get a second life. The mulch will protect the roots of surviving trees.

Stumpy became a social media star during the COVID-19 pandemic. People bought Stumpy-themed T-shirts and calendars. Now the tree’s biggest fans leave flowers to mourn its final spring.

But there’s some good news for Stumpy admirers. Workers at the National Arboretum plan to take parts of the tree’s genetic material. They will create clones (trees that have the same genes as Stumpy). Eventually, some of these will be replanted at the Tidal Basin.

Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy before the Lord, for He comes. — Psalm 96:12-13