The Trump Files: Why Donald Threw a Fit About His “Trump Tree” in Central Park

Ivylise Simones

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Until the election, we’re bringing you “The Trump Files,” a daily dose of telling episodes, strange-but-true stories, or curious scenes from the life of GOP nominee Donald Trump.

When Donald Trump rebuilt Central Park’s Wollman Rink in 1986, he dazzled New York City’s leaders with his quick and efficient work. Mayor Ed Koch, who constantly feuded with Trump during his time in office, heaped praise on the billionaire, and Parks Commissioner Henry Stern planned a more lasting tribute. “We’re going to plant a Trump tree,” he proclaimed.

Sadly, the gesture only disappointed Trump. According to Stern, Trump wanted the rink renamed after him. And when the city offered the Japanese pine tree instead, it didn’t live up to Trump’s lofty standards. The Washington Post described Trump’s reaction when he went out to inspect the tree:

Donald Trump took one look at city workers planting a 10-foot-tall tree in his honor in Central Park and urged them to deliver a message to City Hall.

Tell the mayor, a worker recalled Trump snarling in so many indelicate words, that he could shove that tree into a part of his anatomy otherwise unaccustomed to harboring vegetation.

The problem? The tree was too small. Trump wanted “something more like the tree at Rockefeller Center,” Stern told the Post. In The Art of the Deal, Trump’s 1987 bestseller, he called the Trump Tree one of “the ugliest, scrawniest little trees you’re ever likely to see.”

“He was upset when he saw it,” Stern said. “He thought he was being teased, but it wasn’t so. It was a perfectly respectable tree.” According to the Post, the tree still stands next to Wollman Rink—unmarked.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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