Pittsburgh Legal Back Talk

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No Living Thing Lives Forever, Not Even the Jackson Magnolia.

Posted By Cliff Tuttle | December 26, 2017

No. 1,382

Image: Washington Examiner

There’s been quite a flutter on Twitter over an article by Newsweek stating that Melania Trump condemned a nearly two hundred year old tree to be removed at the White House. The initial article was rather negative. But as updates began to appear, the story came to assume a different color and texture.

The tree had been planted by Andrew Jackson to commemorate his wife, who died shortly after he was elected in 1828. He blamed his predecessor, John Quincy Adams, for her death over campaign rhetoric which portrayed her as a woman unworthy to be the First Lady.

As the story unfolded, bloggers like Ann Althouse rose to Mrs. Trump’s defense.  The National Arboretum had done an extensive study and concluded that the longevity of the tree could not be safely extended. The heartwood of the trunk had been killed by the introduction of cement into the trunk and was being held up by wire. Among other things, the helicopter landing on the White House lawn was likely to blow it apart. possibly causing injury to visitors. While the tree will be removed, the wood will be saved and offshoots growing nearby will be transplanted to replace their great predecessor. . In the end, Mrs. Trump seems to have been vindicated.

Although some live long, no living thing lives forever. This truth is known by all, but this humans we are always striving for a little more time. From reports, the Jackson Magnolia had seen its best days and is bow on life support.  It is hard to accept such a reality, but in the end there is really no choice.



CLIFF TUTTLE has been a Pennsylvania lawyer for over 45 years and (inter alia) is a real estate litigator and legal writer. The posts in this blog are intended to provide general information about legal topics of interest to lawyers and consumers with a Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania focus. However, this information does not constitute legal advice and there is no lawyer-client relationship created when you read this blog. You are encouraged to leave comments but be aware that posted comments can be read by others. If you wish to contact me in privacy, please use the Contact Form located immediately below this message. I will reply promptly and in strict confidence.

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