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Southern Magnolia Bark

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Until early 2018, an iconic Southern Magnolia planted by President Andrew Jackson nearly 200 years ago grew near the South Portico of the White House. It was reputedly planted as a seedling taken from Jackson's plantation, The Hermitage in Tennessee. It was the oldest tree on the White House grounds and was so famous that it was for decades pictured on the back of the $20 bill as part of a view of the South Front. There was a tradition of gifting cuttings or seedlings grown from the tree: Reagan gifted a cutting to his Chief of Staff Howard Baker upon his retirement, and Michelle Obama donated a seedling to the "people's garden" of the U. S. Department of Agriculture. Since the 1940's, when the tree suffered a gash that caused a large section of its trunk to rot, the tree had been supported by metal poles and cables. In 2017 it was decided on the advice of the National Arboretum to cut down and remove the Magnolia because the trunk was in an extremely fragile condition and the supports had been compromised.

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