Photo in the News: "$20" White House Elm Felled by Storm

Fallen White House elm photo
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June 28, 2006—An elderly White House resident is among the casualties of the massive rains that struck the mid-Atlantic U.S. this week (get Washington facts, maps, and more).

A century-old elm tree planted by President Theodore Roosevelt toppled over (left) onto the curving driveway of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue on Monday, according to the Reuters news agency.

The tree, which stood near the north door to the residential part of the White House, caused no structural damage. It was removed and sent to the chipper the following day.

The north lawn of the White House and its elm trees have been featured on the reverse side of the U.S. 20-dollar bill since 1929.

In 1996 the U.S. Department of the Treasury undertook a redesign of the nation's paper currency to streamline images and add security features. The ill-fated elm (presumed to be the tree at right in the photo above) made that cut. As of yet there are no plans to redesign the bill without the tree.

Over the years several administrations have planted trees to spruce up the presidential residence, according to the White House Web site. Thomas Jefferson, dissatisfied with the view, planted poplar trees along Pennsylvania Avenue, which local residents then used as firewood.

President Andrew Jackson added the southern magnolia trees on the western side of the portico. And First Lady Laura Bush replaced barricades in front of the White House with more elms.

—Nancy Marion

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