You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Tree Gifted By France Goes Missing From White House

Newsweek logo Newsweek 4/29/2018 Benjamin Fearnow
This Saturday, April 28, 2018, photo shows an empty area where a tree was planted by U.S. President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron during a tree planting ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington. The young ceremonial tree was planted in the area between the light pole at left and the tree at right. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster): An empty area where a tree was planted by U.S. President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron during a tree planting ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington.  © AP Photo An empty area where a tree was planted by U.S. President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron during a tree planting ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington. 

A tree taken from a World War I battlefield in France and planted during French President Emmanuel Macron’s state visit last week has disappeared from the White House lawn.

President Donald Trump, Macron, his wife Brigitte and Melania Trump all posed for photo ops on the south portion of the White House lawn last Monday as they used shovels to unearth a setting for the sapling. The gifted sessile oak tree originated from the site of the Battle of Belleau Wood in Belleau, France, in which American, French and other allied troops fought the Germans during World War One. But a Reuters photograph from Saturday shows the tree is no longer in place.

The photos taken by Reuters photographer Yuri Gripas blatantly show that the French tree has since been removed from the White House lawn. Although speculation has been rampant on social media, the White House has not officially responded to the former foliage now replaced by a yellowed spot of grass. Macron's visit last week saw news media and social media made light of the seemingly intimate body language of Trump and Macron.

The website for U.S. Customs and Border Protection notes that foreign plants "intended for growing (propagative) require a foreign phytosanitary certificate in advance" prior to being brought into the country. But the French radio network Franceinfo notes that such an oak tree has a better shot of healthy growing when planted in the fall. "The tree may be back in October," the network speculated. 

Macron intended for the tree to remind the two countries of "these ties that bind us" in remembering the World War I battle against the Germans that saw the deaths of 2,000 U.S. soldiers in north-east France. 

Huffington Post reports an unnamed official from the Elysée Palace saying the tree is doing well. 

AdChoices
AdChoices

More from Newsweek

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon