I was driving to Richmond VA on my birthday, to attend the 65th Annual Meeting of the Holly Society of America (upon whose Board of Trustees I currently serve). It was a restful drive, with plenty of popping fall color through the KY/WV/VA mountain corridor of I-64.
It has been a fun conference so far. Monticello was today's tour, and the Maymont estate and Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden await our visit tomorrow. Replete with a huge plant auction and wonderfully nice plants people...what else could a guy ask for?
Well, yes - I have had a few glasses of some nice local (and elsewhere) vintages. I'd recommend Barboursville Vineyards (VA) to anyone.
I bet they said the stump is now a historic artifact or that the leaves were causing structural damages on the building or that the trees did not complement the historical building. I bet nothing can be added to the site. Do I win a doughnut?
Since this is a National Historic Landmark, they do not want to grind out the stump because it will disturb historic archaeology of the site. They will wait till the stump decomposes naturally over a couple years, perform archaeological investigations to create the new planting site, and then plant a tree.
They didn't have the foresight to do this in the past, and inadvertantly destroyed a lot of information about how the site had been previously managed, planted, landscaped, etc.