Save the Tree

ANC 6C01 Commissioner Keith Silver contacted me this morning urging the blog to support his urgent cause to save a 100 year old tree on the NW corner of 4th and I Streets NW. Mr Silver says the community only has 15 days to organize and petition before the tree will be cut down.

Tree on NW corner of 4th and I Streets NW

The Paramount Development group behind the 425 Eye Street project is the entity aiming to cut the tree down. The developer has been renovating the office building for the last year and is now upgrading the sidewalks on Eye Street. The project removed all the other trees that surrounded the project months ago. I thought that was pretty weak sauce to begin with but now this attempt to remove the last remaining tree, which was the oldest and largest of the group, is rather reprehensible. If this tree is indeed 100 years old it survived the construction of the building – yet we’re to believe it can’t survive sidewalk installation?

Commissioner Silver urges all concern citizens in favor of “Saving this Historic Tree” or those in favor of “Cutting it Down” located at 425 Eye Street NW to contact him at within the next Ten (10) Days to determine what should be done in this 15-day window.

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  1. 1

    Ray G says

    I live at the Madrigal Lofts, at the same corner where the tree is. I can see it from my window, and walk past it at least twice a day on the way to and from work. We have relatively few large trees in the area, and there’s no need to lose another. Especially in the middle of summer — shade is most welcome. It has survived the building reconstruction, and has earned the right to stay where it is.

  2. 2


    Considering all the trees were removed for this revitalization why destroy the only tree left on this block of I St NW? Please keep the Mount Vernon Triangle Green. Leave the tree. Allow the future employees of this building to have a shady spot to sit.

  3. 3

    Maryann says

    It’s nice to have the tree; however any damage done to the root system we probably won’t see the affects for about a year, or longer (I’m a Landscape Designer and know a thing or two about this…) I’m sure the roots were cut, regardless of the precautions taken, it always happens. It would be great if the tree does not get cut down, and then we contract a tree company to give it a deep-root feeding.

  4. 4

    Jeremy says

    Downtown cannot constantly have all our 60ft trees cut down and replaced with 12ft tall trees. It is very possible to maintain a select few majestic mature trees. Of course there are extra steps and costs involved as Maryann suggested. To Paramount the 425 Eye property is just a line item on their portfolio’s balance sheet – that’s why they prefer not to invest in saving the tree.

  5. 5

    FP says

    it would have been nice to have all the original trees there, but now with them gone, does it make sense to leave this one standing? wouldn’t it be better to have uniform sized trees lining the street?

  6. 6

    FourthandEye says

    @FP – there is another tall tree across the street by the former Madrigal Lofts sales trailer. While the one in question may not be symetrical with the new trees that will be planted – it will balance off the tree across the street well.

  7. 9

    Dan Maceda says

    Save this tree. The City needs all the trees it has and thousands more to comply with the EPA permit taking effect this month. In fact it has committed to planting 4500 trees a year over the period of this permit. Tommy Wells ran on a livable , walkable city and shade trees help to make this city walkable in the intense heat of summer.

  8. 11


    Thank you all for your interest in protecting the District’s tree canopy.

    One of our committed Citizen Foresters brought this matter to our attention this past Thursday. We have requested a copy of the Special Tree Removal permit from DDOT so we can know more of the particulars.

    DC does not have a legal historic tree designation, only a Special Tree designation (meaning a tree is larger than 17.5” in diameter). There is no “no” in the Urban Forest Preservation Act. Any applicant can remove any tree provided they commit to plant the requisite number of replacement trees or pay the required amount into the Tree Fund.

    Unfortunately, the Tree Fund was recently, by an act of Council, wiped clean to pay for agency operations rather than to plant replacement trees.

    As you can imagine we are very concerned about this. An opinion piece from our Executive Director on the removal of funds from the Tree Fund ran in Sunday’s Washington Post. Cut and past this link ( to read “Breaking a promise to protect D.C.’s tree canopy”

    We will formulate a course of action when we know more about the details. It is possible that an ISA Certified Arborist deemed the tree a Hazard Tree, meaning it poses a threat to persons or property due to a defect or defects. The permit should help us know more.

    Thank you again for your concern. To learn more about how you can help restore, enhance and protect the tree canopy of the Nation’s Capital, visit our website at