Grand Avenue Species
Mass Ave once had miles of shady allées planted entirely with American lindens. Today a variety of large-type shade trees are planted of species appropriate for the 21st century.
A popular and admired tree in Europe. Mass Ave was planted with T. americana for miles to match the fabled Berlin thoroughfare. In 1904, these double rows were continued west from Florida Avenue. Some still stand today.
Elm Ulmus americana
This iconic tree of US streets and parks was ravaged by Dutch Elm Disease in the 20th C. Today disease-resistant types “Princeton” and “Valley Forge” grow fast and well.
Zelkova Zelkova serrata
A hardy tree with leaves similar to elm but a more rounded tree form. Zelkova rows now grace 23 St between Mass Ave and Q St.
Several kinds of oak trees are growing well here.
Northern Red Oak Q. rubra
Swamp White Oak Q. bicolor
Overcup Oak Q. lyrata
Willow Oak Q. phellos
London Plane Tree Platanus x acerfolia
Rows of tall plane trees create lacey patterns of dappled light along the street. The tree’s tan-and-cream bark shows it is related to the sycamore.
Ginkgo Ginkgo biloba
The ginkgo, from Asia, is likely the oldest living tree species on earth and are one of DC’s hardiest and most striking tree species.
Tulip poplar Liriodendron tulipifera
Not a poplar but in the magnolia family, this tree grows tall and stately. It is a host for butterflies and other wildlife and great at removing air pollution.
Sources: Melanie Choukas-Bradley and Polly Alexander, City of Trees: The Complete Field Guide to the Trees of Washington, D.C., University of Virginia Press, Charlottesville, Va.
Keith Rushforth and Charles Hollis, National Geographic Field Guide to the Trees of North America, National Geographic, Washington, D.C.
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