Return of the King

From CNN  “Washington (CNN)The south facade of the White House will undergo a dramatic change this week: the historic Jackson Magnolia, a tree that has been in place since the 1800s, is scheduled to be cut down and removed. “The overall architecture and structure of the tree is greatly compromised and the tree is completely dependent on the artificial support. Without the extensive cabling system, the tree would have fallen years ago.” 

whitehousetree

History of the Jackson Magnolia

After a brutal presidential campaign in 1828, Andrew Jackson’s wife, Rachel, died just days after his election; according to historians, Jackson believed the particularly divisive campaign contributed to his wife’s untimely demise. When he took up residence in the White House as a widower following his inauguration, it is believed Jackson insisted on planting a sprout from Rachel’s favorite magnolia tree from the couple’s farm, Hermitage, in Tennessee. That tree eventually grew into the sprawling magnolia the American public has come to know and recognize to this day.

White Tree of Gondor

minas tirith

First White Tree

The first White Tree of Gondor came from a fruit that Isildur, at great personal risk, managed to steal from Nimloth the Fair, the White Tree of Númenor, before it was destroyed at Sauron‘s insistence. He suffered many wounds at this mission, and he came near death, but when the first leaf opened in the spring, Isildur was healed of his wounds.

This sapling was brought to Middle-earth on Isildur’s ship, and it was eventually planted in Minas Ithil before the house of Isildur. But when Sauron returned to Middle-earth, he launched a sudden attack that captured Minas Ithil, and he destroyed the White Tree.

Second White Tree

Isildur escaped the capture of Minas Ithil, taking with him a sapling of the White Tree to Minas Anor where it was planted in the citadel courtyard in memory of his slain brother Anárion. This tree died in 1636 during the Great Plague.

Third White Tree

A third sapling was planted in the year 1640 of the Third Age by King Tarondor. This one lasted until the year 2872 and the death of the Ruling Steward Belecthor II.

At this time no seedling of the tree could be found as the tree had rarely flowered after the line of the Kings had failed and therefore no fruit was produced. It was left standing after its death “until the King returns”.

Fourth White Tree

When Aragorn became king he discovered (with Gandalf‘s help) a sapling of the White Tree upon the slopes of Mindolluin, high above the city, which he reverently planted in the Court of the Fountain. The dead tree was removed from the court but was placed in the Tombs of the Kings with all the honour that would normally be accorded a fallen monarch. In June of the year 3019 of the Third Age the sapling was already laden with blossom.

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