2016 | News

Since You Asked: Who Cut the Trees Down on Walsh Street in Bethesda?

Trees came down because of disease, not overhead power lines

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Stumps are all that's left of the trees on Walsh Street.

Douglas Tallman

Why were the trees cut down next to the public parking lot behind Persimmon Restaurant?

— A reader from Bethesda

The trees were ash trees, and they were infected with the clear wing ash borer, said Jeff Burton, deputy executive director of the Bethesda Urban Partnership.

The trees had been sick for about 20 years, Burton said.

“We have been treating them and trying to mitigate the damage. They had declined to the point that they had become hazardous,” he said.

Arboreal enthusiasts will happy to hear that replacement trees have been ordered, and they should be planted in the next couple of weeks, Burton said.

The replacement trees will be redbuds, native trees that don’t face the same diseases that ash trees get. It’s a lower, slowing-growing tree so it won’t present much of a conflict with the power lines overhead, he said.

Part of the reason why the new trees haven’t been planted yet, Burton said, is because the ground is so hard from the lack of rain.

This tree had a dedication. It will remain there after the new tree is planted, Burton said. Credit: Douglas Tallman