Just a week after the anniversary of George Washington's birthday, strong winds knocked down a 227-year-old tree that the founding father himself had planted at his Mount Vernon estate.
The Virginia historical site was closed in anticipation of the 60 mph winds that hit the area Friday, but the Canadian hemlock tree and a Virginia cedar that stood watch over Washington’s tomb didn't survive the severe wind storm.
Mount Vernon said on Facebook the hemlock arrived to Washington's home and plantation in a half whiskey barrel from the then New York governor. Washington had planted the tree outside the upper garden gate.
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"The DC area lost a lot of #trees yesterday, but maybe none more significant than this 1791 Canadian Hemlock @MountVernon," tweeted Rob Shenk, the senior vice president of Mount Vernon’s visitor engagement.
Mount Vernon Director of Horticulture Dean Norton said the estate lost its best-documented tree on the property.
Roughly 2 million utility customers remain without electricity after a powerful storm swept across the Northeast.
The storm swept in Friday and prompted more than 2,800 flight cancellations, mostly in the Northeast. LaGuardia and Kennedy airports in New York City were brought to a near standstill. By Saturday afternoon, airports from Washington, D.C. to Boston were still reporting dozens of delays and cancellations.