The “Jackson” Magnolia tree planted by Andrew Jackson is scheduled to have a large section of it removed. First lady Melania Trump made the decision after experts at the US National Arboretum said there was no other choice. The cabling system that has held up the tree for decades is failing.
Problems for the Magnolia tree started in the 1970s when a large section of its base was displaced and exposed a large cavity that was cemented. This was standard practice for the era, but some said it caused irreversible damage.
In 1981, the concrete was removed and a large pole and cabling system was installed to hold it up. From a distance, the tree looks healthy, but the US National Arboretum said in a statement, “the tree is greatly compromised” and “completely dependent on the artificial support”.
Mrs. Trump made the decision because the tree posed a threat to the safety of visitors and members of the press who are often standing right in front of it when the presidential helicopter takes off. She also requested that seedlings of the tree be maintained so a new tree could possibly be planted in the same spot.