Leaning tree of DC: Park service lifts toppled Washington Monument mulberry tree

Crews prepare to raise a fallen mulberry tree on Wednesday, May 22, 2019, at the Washington Monument. (Courtesy National Park Service)

A mulberry tree on the grounds of the Washington Monument in D.C. that toppled due to saturated ground from heavy rain was raised by the National Park Service. But not by much.

The white mulberry tree that predates the 1885 dedication of the monument fell over during Mother’s Day weekend, and the park service mulled options on how to save it.

On Wednesday, NPS announced that they successfully raised it by 10 degrees, the right conditions for root generation without causing additional stress on the root system.

NPS said that the exposed roots will be pruned and covered with topsoil.

Here is the tree on May 14, after it fell.

The mulberry tree on May 14, 2019, after it fell due to saturated ground. (Courtesy National Park Service)

Here is the tree on May 22, after NPS raised it 10 degrees.

Crews lift the fallen mulberry tree on the grounds of the Washington Monument. (Courtesy National Park Service)

NPS had hoped for a partial raise and a custom prop, according to NPS arborist Jason Gillis in a tweet.

While the tree’s roots were exposed, they were watered twice a day.

The tree is one of several on and around the National Mall that are considered “witness trees” of national significance.

Abigail Constantino

Abigail Constantino started her journalism career writing for a local newspaper in Fairfax County, Virginia. She is a graduate of American University and The George Washington University.

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