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Macron and Trump planted tree at the White House. Why it is now missing

Amid fervent speculation, France on Sunday came through with an explanation: the tree, now not just a plant but a symbol of US-French relations, had been placed in quarantine.

world Updated: Apr 30, 2018 09:57 IST
Reuters
Reuters
Reuters
Trump-Macron meeting,Donald trump,Emmanuel Macron
First lady Melania Trump, second from right, and Brigitte Macron, second from left, watch as President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron participate in a tree planting ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington. (AP File Photo)

French President Emmanuel Macron celebrated the special relationship between the United States and France during his state visit to Washington last week by planting a tree with President Donald Trump on the grounds of the White House.

Now the oak sapling is gone - at least temporarily.

White House photographers noticed the tree was gone days after it had been planted. Mystery ensued.

A yellow spot is seen where the tree planted by French President Emmanuel Macron and US President Donald Trump on April 23 stood on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, US, April 28, 2018. (REUTERS)

In fact, the tree, from Belleau Wood in France where almost 2,000 American soldiers died in a World War One battle, had been dug up not long after it was planted. It was put in quarantine, according to US and French officials. The problem: Parasites on the tree could spread to others on the White House property.

“It was actually a special favor from Trump to France to be able to plant the tree the day of the president’s visit,” an official from Macron’s office said.

“Since then, it has returned to quarantine and will soon be replanted in the White House gardens,” the official said, adding: “Don’t worry, the tree is doing very well.”

First Published: Apr 30, 2018 09:41 IST