VIRGINIA

Ancient oak tree at Arlington cemetery felled by Irene

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A 220-year-old post oak near the John F. Kennedy gravesite was uprooted when Hurricane Irene hit the east coast on Aug. 27.

Tree crews clean up the post oak near the John F. Kennedy gravesite.

This ancient oak tree was present throughout the history of Arlington National Cemetery, including the construction of Arlington House, the pre-Civil War home of General Robert E. Lee, and the creation of the cemetery in 1864.

The architect of the Kennedy gravesite, John Warnecke, incorporated the Arlington Oak into the design, and the tree was shielded during the construction.

"It is truly unfortunate to see it's now gone - that tree had a significant legacy here at Arlington," said Steve Van Hoven, the cemetery's urban forester.

The JFK gravesite was closed to the public on Aug. 28-29 to clean up the damage. The gravesite reopened on Aug. 30.

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