Presidents come and go, but one constant through 10 presidencies has been Dale Haney, the chief White House groundskeeper, who as of this month has spent 50 years serving the families – and many of their pets – who have called the mansion home. Haney’s chief responsibility is to care for the vast lawns, colorful flower gardens, hundreds of trees, thousands of shrubs and burgeoning vegetable garden on 18 acres of property surrounding the White House. He also picks out the official White House Christmas tree every year – and already chose this year’s fir from a Pennsylvania farm. To honor Haney, Biden and his wife, Jill, surprised Haney on Monday by planting an elm tree on the south grounds. Biden said visitors in future years are “going to be looking at this tree and asking, ‘Who’s Dale?” Haney joked that he “might still be here.” But Haney is perhaps better known to many at the White House, from staff to Secret Service officers, as the keeper of the president’s pets. “He’s like the whisperer,” said Anita McBride, who was a young aide in the correspondence office in Ronald Reagan’s administration when she first met Haney. These days, Haney is often seen walking Commander, President Joe Biden’s German shepherd. “The first thing that I think about when I think about Dale is his relationship with the first family’s animals,” said Gary Walters, who had a lengthy employment record of his own serving four presidents over 20 years as White House chief usher, managing the residence staff.