Imagine the nation’s capital without its icons: no Washington Monument, no White House, no Lincoln Memorial and Reflecting Pool. It wouldn’t be recognizable as Washington. Let’s not forget the flowering cherry trees and their celebrated blossoms. But this living herald of spring nearly went up in smoke forever.
During D.C.’s development in the early 20th century, planners sought trees with which to line the long avenues. Nowadays, there would likely be an outcry if non-native trees were used, but worry over non-native or invasive plants was not on people’s minds a century ago.