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The National Park Service in Washington, D.C., is set to remove over 100 iconic cherry trees, including one known as “Stumpy,” as part of a restoration project for the Tidal Basin. The seawall around the basin is in need of repair, with the Potomac River flooding the area around the cherry trees twice a day at high tide. The $113 million renovation project will take about three years and will benefit both visitors and the remaining cherry trees. The rebuilt seawall will prevent the flooding that has killed entire stretches of trees that cannot be replaced until the floods are stopped.

In order to protect the remaining trees, the removed cherry trees will be turned into mulch and used to support the existing trees once the seawall is rebuilt. After the renovation, 277 new cherry trees will be planted to replace the ones that were removed. The impending loss of “Stumpy,” a smaller and gnarled tree that has gained a large following, has caused an outpouring of tributes on social media. Many fans have left tributes at the base of the tree, and local sports teams have paid their respects to the beloved tree, including the Washington Capitals and the Washington Nationals.

Despite the removal of Stumpy and other cherry trees, the National Arboretum plans to clone part of Stumpy’s genetic material to create new trees that will eventually be planted at the Tidal Basin. This will ensure that Stumpy’s legacy lives on even after the tree is removed. The renovation project is necessary to preserve the life of the remaining cherry trees, as the repeated floods have caused significant damage to the existing trees. The rebuilt seawall will provide a better experience for visitors and protect the cherry trees from the detrimental effects of the flooding.

The removal of 300 trees, including nearly half of the cherry trees at the Tidal Basin, is part of a larger effort to restore the area and prevent further damage caused by the deteriorating seawall. The renovation plans include planting new trees to replace those that are removed, ensuring that the iconic cherry blossom trees continue to thrive in the future. Despite the loss of Stumpy and other beloved trees, the restoration project will help to preserve the beauty and heritage of the Tidal Basin for generations to come.

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