Mar 15, 2024 - News

RIP Stumpy: D.C.'s favorite short king will be cut down this year

Stumpy the tree in front of the Tidal Basin, with the Washington Monument in the background.

Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

RIP to a real one: Stumpy — the Tidal Basin cherry tree famous for being, well, stumpy — will be cut down alongside 158 others later this year to prepare for seawall repairs.

Why it matters: Stumpy became a local viral sensation and a metaphor of resilience for DMV short kings everywhere after accumulating an online fanbase a few years ago, resulting in a Stumpy T-shirt and calendar.

  • This means it's the last cherry blossom season you can pay your respects to the Nation's Stump.

Zoom in: Stumpy's stumpiness is tied to its demise — too much water can hurt a tree's roots, and the Tidal Basin floods twice a day now due to its sinking seawall and climate change. Hence the $113 million seawall overhaul.

  • 274 new cherry trees will be planted to replace the ones removed along the Tidal Basin and West Potomac Park.

The bottom line: Let's hope that Stumpy finds peace with the other iconic D.C. trees that have gone before it, like Tiny Timber.

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