Monday, March 30, 2020
alexandria virginia

Alexandria Issues Statement on ‘Charlie Brown’ Tree

New 'Charlie Brown' tree in Alexandria, Virginia

The City of Alexandria, Virginia issued the following statement on the now departed ‘Charlie Brown’ tree located in the median of Duke Street at the base of the ramp to Landmark Mall.

You can see our previous posts on the tree at this link.

After public outcry, the City worked with Landmark mall to plant a new ‘Charlie Brown’ tree nearby the original one. The new tree is located across the street in a safer place. I understand neighbors have already started decorating the new ‘Charlie Brown’ tree.

I must say the Whoville reference here (from the Grinch that Stole Christmas) is brilliant and a terrific ode to the old tree.

Every Who down in Whoville loved trees a lot….
But the Grinch, who lived far from Whoville, did not!
The Grinch hated trees, with all of their greenery.
He didn’t care for their shade; he detested their scenery.
Trees made his mood sour, and his countenance rocky,
And he felt each new tree was a load of horse hockey.
When it came to trees, he just wasn’t a believer.
Some say that his heart had come down with hayfever.

Now back down in Whoville, grew a li’l tree of great fame.
We’ll call him Sebastian since we don’t know his name.
Sebastian grew proud, tall, straight and true,
Which, given his home, was a tough thing to do.
This young tree wasn’t like all the others you’ll meet —
He was born in a crack in a part of the street!
As trucks nearly mulched him and cars whizzed close by
He stuck to his roots and reached for the sky.

And all over Whoville, Whos far and wide
Heard about young Sebastian and flocked to his side.
They adorned him with lights, they hung bells and whistles,
From the end of his trunk to the tips of his thistles.
While they helped him stay merry, whatever the season,
He gave them a hub of civic cohesion.
This tree gave Whos hope and brightened their smiles;
His spirit stayed with them for miles and miles.

…Until one day the Grinch had had quite enough
Of this tree and the Whos and their tree-loving stuff.
He decided to show Whoville just who was boss,
As he climbed up upon his crooked old hoss.
He rode into Whoville like a mean spooky spook,
Making his way down the street of the Duke.
He planned to frighten Sebastian straight out of town
With a sneer that would bring even jolly St. Nick down.

The Grinch made himself ready to give Sebastian a scare,
Furrowing his brow and sharpening his stare,
But as he got to the point where Sebastian was next
He heard his phone chime — he’d gotten a text.
Now the Grinch had few friends, to no one’s surprise,
So he couldn’t help but look down with his vile little eyes.
And in the instant it took to check who had said what,
The Grinch and his steed swerved straight into a rut!

Head over heels, the Grinch flew off his saddle,
As he watched his foul life begin to unravel.
But his landing was more of a whoosh than a crash,
And he noticed around him some tinsel and sash.
It turns out the tree who he went there to scare
Had broken the fall of his mean derriere!
The Grinch, unaccustomed to contrition or thanks,
Ran off into the night along the dark riverbanks.

As Sebastian lay wounded, he started to slouch,
And he moaned as he took stock of each ow and ouch.
Soon some passing Whos on their way to the Mall
Saw the tree needed help, and they knew just who to call.
You see, because Whos love each leaf, branch, and stem,
They employ tree doctors — and also love them.
These folks roam the town scouting trees in need of assist,
Because that’s what you do when you’re an arborist.

So one wise tree helper bent down to the ground.
As he cradled Sebastian, he checked all around.
The tree, on account of its great Grinchly load,
Was leaning right into the side of the road!
“This just isn’t safe,” said the expert sincerely,
And he removed the tree so cars could drive clearly.
Sometimes trees can be saved, and tree docs sure try,
But some are destined to join the great forest in the sky.

As the arborist wept for his tender young charge,
The Grinch was quite pleased with himself, by and large.
For while his bruised bottom had turned black and green,
The tree he despised was nowhere to be seen.
A great sadness fell over Whoville by dawn,
As Whos heard the news that Sebastian was gone.
At first no one knew just what had transpired,
Which caused many rumors to begin going viral.

Some assumed Who-reaucrats thought the tree was too festive,
And suggested reprisals that were, well, quite suggestive.
On Facebook! On Twitter! On blogs! On news shows!
They pointed their fingers (which isn’t cool, bro).
The Grinch just laughed as he gazed through his scope:
“Why, they don’t even suspect me, not a bit, not one nope!”
He figured with Sebastian no longer in sight,
He could finally settle down for a long winter’s night.

But the Whos down in Whoville were seasonably warm.
After all, Whos view helping others as exactly the norm.
Which is why the Howard Hughes Whos, who run Landmark Mall,
Lit up with delight when the Who-reaucrats called.
The idea was at once so simple, yet profound:
They would plant a new tree for the one that fell down!
And that’s just what they did, right across the street,
Where it’s safer to walk with your legs and your feet.

The Grinch heard a commotion coming from down in Whoville
So he peered through his scope, and he shook with a chill.
For he knew that his plot had completely backfired,
And he gasped when he saw the result it inspired.
Each Who down in Whoville, the tall and the small,
Was greeting the new little tree at the Mall!
The Grinch hadn’t stopped trees from treeing one lick.
The fail of his plan was, in fact, quite epic.

The Grinch puzzled for hours, till his puzzler was sore.
Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before!
“Maybe trees,” he thought, “maybe I had them all wrong.”
“Maybe trees were a good thing this whole time, all along.”
And the arborists who try to protect Whos and trees?
“Well maybe their jobs aren’t done with such ease.”
(He also concluded, glad to still be alive,
How Grinch-headed he was, to text and drive.)

And what happened then? Well in Whoville they say,
That the Grinch’s small heart grew three sizes that day!
He went out to his yard, which was bare as could be,
And he knelt down, and smiled, and planted a tree.

Lee Hernly, Editor
the authorLee Hernly, Editor
Founder & Editor
Lee Hernly is the Founder and Editor of Port City Wire, Alexandria, Virginia's best source for hyper-local news, opinion, and events. I live in the Old Town Alexandria area with my fantastic wife and son Sam. Oh, there’s Serena & Bea too. I’m so excited to meet new readers and see where you are from! Please be sure to leave a comment with a link to your blog so I can check it out!

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toni gagnon ross
toni gagnon ross

This entire literary work is misleading, and the only truth is that the city arborist ordered a tree cut down that had been in place for years. That tree was a symbol of resilience, courage and hope. In a town full of Veterans who have endured so many challenges, it was a sign. In an area that is overwhelmed by violence from the evening news, it was a sign that there is good in our lives. Not horse hockey it’s BS It was interesting enough to get the media involved and the city scrambling. Pitiful, saddening and plain disgusting and… Read more »


[…] to Landmark Mall for the borrowed Whoville reference here (from the Grinch that Stole Christmas) which is still brilliant and a terrific ode to the old […]