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The End of the Jackson Magnolia

Andrew Jackson's wife died shortly after he won the presidential election of 1828. In her honor, he had a magnolia tree planted on the west side of the White House lawn in 1835. The tree has a storied history, including being featured on the $20 bill for most of the 20th century. A companion tree was later added to the east side of the lawn for symmetry. But the Jackson Magnolia has come to the end of its life after being on display for 182 years. The tree has been ailing for decades. A report from the United States National Arboretum said, in part,

"The overall architecture and structure of the tree is greatly compromised and the tree is completely dependent on the artificial support. 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 tree will be cut down sometime this week. RIP, Jackson Magnolia. But it lives on anyway. Shoots from the tree have been secretly nursed at an undisclosed greenhouse, and are now 8-10 feet tall. One of them will be used to replace the historic tree on the White House lawn. Read the full story the Jackson Magnolia at CNN. -via Uproxx

(Image credit: Library of Congress)


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