The historic Jackson Magnolia tree, which has graced the White House grounds since the early 1800s, is slated to be removed this week after experts warned the tree could no longer be saved.White House groundskeepers say there is nothing they can do and that the historic Magnolia tree on the grounds that has been there since the 1800s must be removed. The three Magnolia trees left standing on the White House grounds were planted some time during the Andrew Jackson administration. Some historians say that Jackson planted the dying Magnolia tree in honor of his late-wife, who passed away just days after the 1828 election. Administrations over the years have tried to extend the tree's lifespan. Documents show that the Jackson Magnolia has documented damage stretching back decades to the 1970s. In 1981, a pole and cable were installed to keep the tree from toppling over. Without that cable system, White House documents estimate that the tree would have already collapsed. “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," White House documents detailed. The decision to remove the tree ultimately rests with the First Lady Melania Trump. After consulting with experts, she made the decision to remove the tree before it caused any more damage.
"Mrs. Trump personally reviewed the reports from the United States National Arboretum and spoke at length with her staff about exploring every option before making the decision to remove a portion of the Magnolia tree," Melania Trump's communications director, Stephanie Grisham, released in a statement. "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." While many headlines were critical of the First Lady's decision to remove the historic tree, the National Arboretum applauded the White House for doing everything it could, admitting that "eventually, the tree will fail.” Because the of the tree's location, it has served as the backdrop for a number of historic White House events, including the shot of each departing President leaving the White House for the last time. The image of the tree appeared on the back of the $20 bill between 1928 and 1994. A seedling from the Jackson Magnolia was given to the Cuban people in 2016 as a gift. Other replanted Magnolia seedlings have been presented to diplomats as gifts over the years. The good news is that the Jackson Magnolia has offshoots just a few yards away. These small trees are between eight and ten feet tall and the White House will plant one of those offshoot trees in the Jackson Magnolia's place following its removal. What do you think? Should they take the tree down or let it fall down on its own? Let us know in the comment section below.