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White House to remove portion of famed Magnolia tree due to safety concerns

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The White House announced the day after Christmas that a large "portion" of magnolia tree on the south grounds will be removed because it is weak and poses a risk to safety. The tree was planted by President Andrew Jackson.

The tree is over 180-years-old and the large portion is set to be removed this week while President Donald Trump and his family are in Florida.

According to the White House Historical Association, the tree was planted in 1835 next to another magnolia tree.

First lady Melania Trump made the decision according to her communications director Stephanie Grisham.

Grisham said in a statement Tuesday:

"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."

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