While Melania Trump has been the source of much controversy, criticism, and gossip, she has responded to little of it. Instead, she seems to be focusing on other things, including the White House garden. According to Daily Mail, the First Lady will be planting an oak sapling on the White House’s south grounds on Monday afternoon.
The sapling, meant to replace a tree that was removed from the grounds earlier this year, was taken from an original oak in another area of White House grounds. Its ancestor, a tree installed in the East Wing garden by Jacqueline Kennedy, is an original Eisenhower oak. The planting of this sapling will happen during a small party, attended by Melania and other notable guests.
According to the Kansas City Star, even President Dwight Eisenhower’s granddaughter, Mary Jean Eisenhower, will be in attendance. The legacy of the Eisenhower oak will be continuing, and Eisenhower’s own legacy will be there to witness.
The White House is carrying out this event along with the White House Historical Association’s Presidential Sites Summit, which will happen over the course of four days. Over a hundred leaders from various presidential sites will be present at the summit, and many descendants of previous presidents will be attending as well.
The First Lady’s office released a statement about the event.
“Presidents and first ladies have historically planted trees on the White House grounds. This particular tree comes from the original Eisenhower Oak located near the Kennedy Garden. The sapling will replace a tree that was excavated from the grounds earlier this year. Mrs. Trump will be planting it in conjunction with the White House Historical Association’s Presidential Sites Summit.”
The fifth generation grandson of James Monroe, Richard Emory Gatchell, Jr., will also be attending the event. It is currently unknown whether or not Melania’s husband, President Donald Trump, will be attending as well. This is not a surprise considering the First Lady’s independence in the recent months. She has been giving speeches by herself and has even announced a solo trip to Africa.
The planting of the Eisenhower oak is Melania’s second change to the White House’s South Lawn, following her removal of parts belonging to the Jackson Magnolia. The hollowed out parts of the tree were deemed hazardous by experts, so they were promptly removed. The rest of the tree was left standing and is still being cared for by White House groundskeepers.