Dec. 26 (UPI) -- A portion of the Jackson Magnolia tree, which has been on the White House lawn since the 1800s, will be removed, the White House announced Tuesday.
In a report, specialists with the National Arboretum found decay on the tree made it a safety hazard.
"The overall architecture and structure of the tree is greatly compromised and the tree is completely dependent on the artificial support," the specialists wrote in a report obtained by CNN. "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."
Those findings were relayed to first lady Melania Trump for a final decision.
Stephanie Grisham, White House communications director for Trump, told CBS News in a statement the first lady "spoke at length with her staff about exploring every option" before making her decision.
"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," Grisham said. "She has requested that the wood from the tree be preserved and seedlings be readily available if there is an opportunity to plant a new magnolia tree in the same area."
The Washington Post reported the tree was planted as a seedling by President Andrew Jackson to honor his wife, Rachel Jackson, who died days after he was elected. Jackson blamed personal attacks from political opponents during the campaign for contributing to her death.
Rachel Jackson was not a fan of Washington, D.C., and reportedly said, "I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of God than live in that palace at Washington."