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Sunday - July 02, 2006

From: Bowling Green, KY
Region: Southeast
Topic: Trees
Title: Tree ordinances re Magnolia Ladybird Johnson tree
Answered by: Nan Hampton


What exactly is a Ladybird Johnson tree? Also, is there any type of federal or state law(s) that prohibits the cutting, trimming or removal of a LadyBird Johnson tree? Thank you for your time!


The Lady Bird Johnson Tree is a Southern magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora) that was propagated for Mrs. Johnson from the magnolia growing on the White House lawn. That magnolia was planted there in 1829 by President Andrew Jackson in memory of his wife Rachel. Mrs. Johnson took her specimens of the Jackson magnolia back to her Texas homes to grow. Offspring of the tree that Mrs. Johnson brought to Texas, the Lady Bird Johnson Tree, are now offered for sale by American Forests, the nation's oldest nonprofit conservation organization, in its Famous & Historic Trees program. The Jackson magnolia is shown on the back of the "old" $20 bill standing near the portico in the picture of the White House.

There be may local or state ordinances regarding the cutting of Magnolia grandiflora, but I doubt that there are laws that specifically relate to the Lady Bird Johnson Tree. You can read more about arboriculture law.

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