I work at the D.C. Courthouse and my lunch is often a yogurt while walking along Pennsylvania Avenue. One of the best parts of my walk was the shaded area in front of the FBI Building. My walk last Tuesday brought me to a fenced off area behind which every tree had been chopped down. There must have been at least 40 trees, and they were just beautiful.

My mutterings of dismay were enthusiastically agreed to by the few people around me, one of whom was an FBI employee. She said the trees were cut down because they did not match the ones across the street.

In these times of gross budget problems and environmental concerns, it is unbelievable that this is part of a plan to beautify the avenue. While the Smithsonian was locked up tight over the Columbus Day weekend, contractors were destroying trees at the FBI. I never noticed that the trees on the other side of the street didn't match. As a matter of fact, I enjoy diversity. Diversity also has a place in nature: if a disease strikes the trees on Pennsylvania Avenue, all the trees will die. Diversity would allow some to live.

It's too late to save these trees, but can't the individual or group that made this decision see how stupid it was? We who enjoyed the trees need the satisfaction of knowing that at least a lesson has been learned.

JON P. PETERSON Gaithersburg