The last Mulberry tree on FGC property was probably as old as the complex which was developed in 1955, but in spite of the angst of tree lovers, it had to go. During last summer’s derecho storm, tree branches intertwined with high-voltage lines contributed to the week-long power outage at the complex. In addition, the tree trunk that extended beneath the foundation of building ’32 leaned precariously toward the street, creating potential structural damage to the building.
After checking with the District government to ensure that the Mulberry was not protected by a Tree Preservation Order — thereby making it unlawful to cut it down – and then imploring PEPCO to do its part to ensure the workers’ safety, the tree was removed on December 5th, and the stump was ground into mulch.
The tree contractors also removed the English Ivy which was climbing up the same side of the building and had managed to creep beneath the window air conditioner and continue growing inside one member’s first floor unit. As I watched workers remove the creeping vine I was reminded of a 1982 episode of Creepshow, in which fright master, Stephen King stars as a man who finds his home and himself being covered by a creeping plant in The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verrili. If you never saw or don’t remember the episode, then steel your nerves, set the viewing to full screen mode, and watch the first three minutes of this video by clicking this link. The segments following the King episode are from other Creepshow installments.