Former first lady Michelle Obama took a seedling from the iconic tree in 2009 and brought it to the Department of Agriculture, where it could grow at the agency’s garden, and former President Barack Obama gifted a seedling from the tree to the people of Cuba in 2016. The tree is “completely dependent on artificial support,” an official document at the United States National Arboretum says. “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 Jackson Magnolia at the White House
The tree is expected to be removed later this week. Offshoots of the original Jackson Magnolia have been growing nearby and will be planted in the original tree’s place. The history of the tree began on the office time of former President Andrew Jackson, who brought the tree from his farm, Hermitage, in Tennessee. The tree was even featured on the back of the $20 bill between 1928 and 1998. The tree has been featured prominently in multiple photos.