‘That’s My Tree,’ Obama Says as He Plants a Tree (Sort of) at the White House

Oct 28, 2009 6:50pm

From Sunlen Miller: President Obama planted his first tree on White House grounds this evening, as is tradition for presidents to do during their first year in the White House.  The White House said that the president is just continuing the tradition of planting trees on the White House Ground and is not commemorative of anyone. The 25-foot Tilden Tree, hailing from New Jersey, was already in the ground near from the northeast side of the White House gate on the North Lawn when the President walked down the driveway in a full suit, and onto a small carpet to shield his shoes from the mud. White House Usher Admiral Stephen Rochon and Dale Haney, superintendent of grounds, helped the President shift dirt with small gold shovels from a small pile sitting next to the tree to the hole around the tree which had not been filled in yet. "That's my tree, that's a nice looking tree,” the President said noting that his grounds superintendent told him it would be grow to be a good-sized tree, “that’s a nice looking tree, don’t you think?” Using a gold shovel used at two prior tree plantings during the Bush administration, Mr. Obama only shoveled nine shovels full of dirt, barely making a dent in the hole that needed to be filled, and noted that the photo-opt wasn’t really a proper demonstration of the work that really needed to be done to plant a tree. “This is a little easier than it should be,” Obama said to press, “although I probably could not lift this on my own.” The Tilden tree replaced a tree that was planted by former President George Bush, but didn’t “take well” according the White House. -Sunlen Miller

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