Irene Took Out Arlington Oak at Kennedy’s Grave

Friday, Sep 2, 2011  |  Updated 7:37 AM EDT
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Dramatic Photos: Irene's Aftermath

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A 220-year-old oak tree at the gravesite of President John F. Kennedy was destroyed in Hurricane Irene last weekend, Arlington National Cemetery officials said.

Also, a white oak near the memorial for victims of the 1988 downing of Pam Am Flight 103 over Scotland was uprooted, but the tree did not damage the memorial, officials said Thursday. The white oak was estimated to be 240 years old.

The oak that had shaded visitors to the Kennedy gravesite for 48 years was known as the “Arlington Oak.” When the decision was made to bury the assassinated president near the tree, the cemetery undertook an elaborate aeration, drainage and soil improvement project to protect the tree from the shock of construction at the site.

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