227-year-old tree planted by George Washington torn down by wind
© Facebook: George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate

Severe winds brought down a 227-year-old tree planted by George Washington on his Mount Vernon estate on Friday. 

The Canadian hemlock was planted by Washington, the founding father and first U.S. president, in 1791. Mount Vernon announced the tree's downing on its Facebook page Friday evening.

"Today at Mount Vernon, strong winds brought down a 227-year-old Canadian Hemlock, as well as a Virginia cedar that stood watch over Washington’s tomb for many years," the post said.


The estate said that the tree originally came to Mount Vernon in 1791 in a half whiskey barrel as a gift from then-New York Gov. George Clinton.

Rob Shenk, the senior vice president of visitor engagement at Mount Vernon, wrote on Twitter Saturday that estate lost many trees to the powerful winds that tore through the Washington region on Friday, but that the Canadian hemlock was perhaps the most significant.

"The DC area lost a lot of #trees yesterday, but maybe none more significant than this 1791 Canadian Hemlock @MountVernon," he tweeted. "George Washington himself likely knew this tree along his famous Bowling Green."

Wind gusts of up to 70 miles per hour whipped through the D.C. area on Friday, prompting the closure of the federal government and thousands of flight cancellations. The winds were the result of Winter Storm Riley, a powerful nor'easter that is making its way through the Northeast.