First Lady, Melania Trump, has reportedly ordered White House personnel to cut back a significant portion of a historic magnolia tree that was planted by President Andrew Jackson in the 1800s.
The eponymous magnolia was added by President Andrew Jackson to the south façade of the White House in honor of his late wife, Rachel Jackson. According to Trump’s spokeswoman, Stephanie Grisham, the first lady weighed all possible options for maintaining the Jackson Magnolia and the decision was made out of safety concerns. Melania Trump reviewed an analysis by the United States National Arboretum and consulted with White House staff for the best possible outcome.
According to Grisham, the first lady was “concerned about the safety of visitors and members of the press who are often standing in front of the tree during Marine One lifts,”
The tree is just one of three others located on the west side of the White House. Several White House documents noted the Jackson Magnolia to be architecturally compromised and are currently relying on its artificial support.
Grisham states that a significant portion of the tree will be removed later this week, however wood and seedling from the magnolia will be preserved for the future.
Media obtained documents also claim that the Jackson Magnolia would have been cut down years ago had it not been for its historic importance. They also say all efforts at the moment are aimed at the tree’s survival as White House officials believe the Jackson Magnolia will eventually fail.
Ever since the tree was planted in 1835, it became a backdrop of many White House events including Easter Egg Rolls and Marine One departures. The tree was so popular that even its seedlings were valued. During a trip to former Israeli president, Shimon Peres’ presidential residence, President Obama gifted a seedling from the magnolia to the Israeli people.
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