Biden’splant tree to honor 50th anniversary of White House Grounds Superintendent’s tenure

President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden planted Monday afternoon a ceremonial Elm tree at the White House South Lawn to honor Dale Haney (superintendent of White House grounds), who earlier in the month celebrated 50 years of working at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

After walking down from the south side of the White House, each Biden made brief remarks about Haney and expressed gratitude for the planting.

Jill Biden stated that Haney was “one of our most loved people…taking such loving care for the grass and flowers.”

According to the White House, Haney was not surprised by the tree planting.

“Fifty years, ten presidents,” was the marvel of President Haney at the White House’s rich history.

Biden said that the tree they’re planting has a lifespan of 175 to 200yearsr. He was speaking about the young elm trees he and Haney dug with ceremonial, gold-plated shovels.

According to a White House official, Haney started as a White House gardener in 1972. He has overseen the care of 500 trees and 5,000 shrubs, thousands of annual flowers, the White House Kitchen Garden, and 18 acres of White House grounds. Haney oversees the work of National Park Service groundskeepers. This includes maintenance workers, landscape and garden staff, and electricians and plumbers.

Haney also serves as the White House’s unofficial pet caregiver. Haney served in 10 administrations and walked and cared for every presidential dog. This includes Richard Nixon’s Irish Setter King Timahoe and Biden’s German Shepherd Commander.

Biden joked that “Commander wanted  to be here,” but “we voted not to allow him.”

Haney informed the President that the shade provided by the elms will eventually allow for shade, so that “Commander and I can sit out there this year.”

Haney was asked by the first lady if she would pluck a leaf from a tree to keep for her scrapbook.

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