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White House says historic magnolia tree has been cut back

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(AP) — A large portion of a magnolia tree on the south grounds of the White House has been removed because it posed a safety risk.

Stephanie Grisham, a spokeswoman for first lady Melania Trump, says the nearly 200-year-old tree was trimmed Wednesday morning while President Donald Trump and his family are in Florida for the holidays.Related Content: Part of weakened White House magnolia tree to be removed

Grisham said earlier in the week that the first lady had approved of the tree-trimming plan after she reviewed reports about the magnolia from government experts and explored options with White House staff.

Grisham says Mrs. Trump was concerned about the safety of visitors and journalists who often stand in front of the tree during certain events.

President Andrew Jackson added the magnolia to the south grounds in 1835.

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