A tree that has stood on the south facade of the White House since the 1800s is reportedly so damaged that it needs the artificial support of an extensive cabling system in order to stand.
For that reason, the time-worn Jackson Magnolia is scheduled to be taken down and removed this week, according to a CNN report. The damaged tree is one of three located on the west side of the White House.
“The overall architecture and structure of the tree is greatly compromised and the tree is completely dependent on the artificial support,” according to official documents obtained by CNN. “Without the extensive cabling system, the tree would have fallen years ago. Presently, and very concerning, the cabling system is failing on the east trunk, as a cable has pulled through the very thin layer of wood that remains. It is difficult to predict when and how many more will fail.”
After consulting with specialists at the United States National Arboretum and reviewing relevant documents, First Lady Melania Trump made the final decision to remove the tree.
The Jackson Magnolia got its name after being planted while Andrew Jackson was president. His wife died shortly after he was elected, so to honor her, he planted a sprout from her favorite magnolia tree on their Tennessee farm.
The often-photographed tree would have been “removed long ago” were it not for the magnolia’s touching history, according to the documents, which noted that “all measures have been used to save it to this point in time,” but the tree could fall at any time.
Another Jackson Magnolia, which will come from a sprout of the original tree, is expected to be planted in its place.
“The circle of life – However disappointing the removal of the Jackson Magnolia, the silver lining of its demise is that White House groundskeepers were prepared. For several months, at an undisclosed greenhouse-like location nearby, healthy offshoots of the 🌳 have been growing,
— Susan Farley (@USS_NYC) December 26, 2017
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