Winter storm fells US President George Washington's tree at Mount Vernon estate, Virginia

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Wednesday, March 7, 2018

File photo of the main building at Mount Vernon
Image: Aaron Barlow.

Friday's major winter storm over the northeastern United States claimed a 227-year-old tree on the estate of the first US President George Washington, Mount Vernon, in Virginia. As of yesterday, officials overseeing the Mount Vernon estate indicated the Canadian hemlock has been collected for preservation and special projects.

The hemlock, planted in 1791, was toppled by the gusts reportedly up to 70 mph (about 110 kph) on Friday.

Mount Vernon was Washington's personal estate, where he conducted most of his two presidential terms between 1789–1797 because the initial White House was not completed yet. According to Mount Vernon officials, the hemlock is the best documented tree at the estate, sent by New York Governor George Clinton as a gift delivered in a whisky barrel. The New York governor is not related to the 42nd President Bill Clinton, however George Clinton would later become the United States's Vice President under the Thomas Jefferson and James Madison administrations between 1805–1812.

Other US historic trees recently fallen include the seventh President Andrew Jackson's southern magnolia at the White House and the Pioneer Cabin giant sequoia in California's Calaveras Big Trees State Park known for the car-sized tunnel cut into the trunk.