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White House Lawn Is About to Change Dramatically — Jackson Magnolia Will Be Cut Down by the New Year

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“…every effort had been made.”
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
When a new president takes office, one of the tasks that often falls to the incoming first lady is any necessary redecorating in the White House residential areas.
And while changes made to the inside may run the gamut from repainting the walls to bringing in all new furniture, the outside of the White House has not been changed often.
Bad news from an arborist has changed all that — and CNN reported on Tuesday that the Jackson magnolia will have to go:
An iconic tree on the White House grounds is scheduled to be cut down after years of decay https://t.co/bg2C3sQ0Td pic.twitter.com/00Vw8WOZVq
— CNN (@CNN) December 26,2017
The tree, which dates back to the 1800s and is often visible in the background as the president crosses the lawn to board Marine One, has been in poor health for some time — and a recent conference with experts convinced First Lady Melania Trump that everything that could be done to save the tree already had been done.
Stephanie Grisham, White House communications director, told CNN:
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.
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.
CNN also reported that the first lady has requested the preservation of the wood from the tree, although what she intends to have done with it was not reported.
The iconic tree is scheduled to come down before the end of the week.

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