Melania Trump Orders Removal of Near-200-Year-Old Tree From White House


The historic Jackson Magnolia has been on the south facade of the White House since the 1800s—making it the oldest on the grounds. But Tuesday, Melania Trump reportedly made the decision to have it removed after tree specialists determined “the overall architecture and structure of the tree is greatly compromised,” reported CNN.

Melania Trump, Fashionable lady.

CNN obtained documents from specialists at the United States National Arboretum, which determined the magnolia tree must be removed. The tree is “completely dependent on artificial support,” the document read.

The document said, “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.”

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump participate in the 95th annual national Christmas tree lighting ceremony held by the National Park Service on the Ellipse near the White House, on November 30. Melania reportedly made the decision to have a tree dating from the 1800s removed from the White House grounds after tree specialists determined the tree was compromised. 

A White House official told CNN that the First Lady made the decision after reviewing and assessing professional information and historical documents. The tree is expected to be removed later this week. White House groundskeepers were prepared for the tree’s demise, however, and offshoots of the original Jackson Magnolia have been growing nearby. The offshoots are around eight to 10 feet tall and will be planted in the original tree’s place, according to CNN.

Documentation reviewed by CNN revealed the Jackson Magnolia has had apparent damage as far as five decades back. Three trunks of the tree grew from the base—tangling together in a mess of shared bark. One of those trunks was removed leaving an exposed cavity that was filled with cement. Back in the 1970s, this was the standard procedure in this circumstance. The concrete, however, permanently damaged the tree. By 1981, a large pole and cable system were installed and hold up the tree today.