White House's century-old magnolia tree to be cut down due to unstable condition

Updated 2017-12-27 14:30:18 Xinhua

The nearly two-century-old iconic magnolia tree standing by the South Portico of the White House is scheduled to be cut down later this week, CNN reported Tuesday.

"The overall architecture and structure of the tree is greatly compromised and the tree is completely dependent on the artificial support," said specialists at the U.S. National Arboretum in a statement obtained by CNN.

"Without the extensive cabling system, the tree would have fallen years ago," they said, adding that its trunk is too delicate for further interventions.

The final decision to bring down the tree was made by first lady Melania Trump after she consulted a wide range of professional information and historic documents.

But the wood from the tree will be preserved, the first lady's communications director Stephanie Grisham told CNN.

The magnolia, with its enormous canopy extending beyond the second floor of the White House, was first planted by former U.S. President Andrew Jackson to commemorate his wife Rachel, and it has witnessed the ups and downs of 39 presidencies and many state ceremonies.

CNN has learned that another magnolia, born directly from the original's healthy branches, will soon be planted in its place, for history to live on.

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