It was widely reported earlier this week that First Lady Melania Trump ordered the removal of a near 200-year-old tree planted in the White House lawn.
The historic tree, planted by former President Andrew Jackson, was being held up by artificial supports, which too were in compromising condition.
Per Washington Examiner:
“The overall architecture and structure of the tree is greatly compromised and the tree is completely dependent on the artificial support,” documents obtained by the cable news outlet read. “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.”
The iconic tree is now too old and badly damaged to remain in place https://t.co/PkeLKbqQsg
— Washington Post (@washingtonpost) December 27, 2017
And, also per Washington Examiner:
The first lady made the decision to have the tree cut back after reviewing reports from the U.S. National Arboretum and speaking with her staff about exploring every option, Melania Trump’s communications director Stephanie Grisham told the Washington Examiner. The tree was cut back on Wednesday, while President Trump and his family were away for the holidays.
“After reviewing the reports, she trusted that every effort had been made to preserve the historic tree, and was concerned about the safety of visitors and members of the press who are often standing right in front of the tree during Marine One lifts,” Grisham said.
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) December 27, 2017
According to the report, the First Lady requested portions of the tree be set aside and saved and that they “be preserved and seedlings be readily available if there is an opportunity to plant a new Magnolia Tree in the same area.”
Chelsea Clinton comes to the defense of Melania Trump over the historic Jackson tree at the White House https://t.co/w5c1v2L0Rf
— Twitchy Team (@TwitchyTeam) December 27, 2017
Former presidential daughter Chelsea Clinton thanked the White House for the preservation of the tree she said “[she] & so many have treasured.”
She tweeted, “Thank you to all the Chief Horticulturists and everyone from the National Park Service who have taken care of the beautiful grounds of the @WhiteHouse over the years.”
Clinton then explicitly thanked Trump for her decision, “Thank you @FLOTUS for preserving part of a tree I & so many have treasured.”
Thank you to all the Chief Horticulturists and everyone from the National Park Service who have taken care of the beautiful grounds of the @WhiteHouse over the years. Thank you @FLOTUS for preserving part of a tree I & so many have treasured. https://t.co/VwzM1qkCDA
— Chelsea Clinton (@ChelseaClinton) December 27, 2017
The tree holds a special origin within presidential families, as Jackson first planted the tree as a tribute to his deceased wife:
The tree was planted on the South Portico by Jackson in 1835, after the death of his wife Rachel. He planted a sprout from his wife’s favorite magnolia tree from their farm Hermitage in Tennessee.
— The Hill (@thehill) December 27, 2017