The tree that President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron planted at the White House as their wives looked on during the Macrons’ state visit to Washington disappeared, causing a mystery to take root as to its whereabouts. All that’s left is a patch of discolored grass marking the location.
While Presidents Trump and Macron shoveled dirt symbolically over the oak sapling’s roots, Melania Trump and Brigitte Macron looked on. The tree originated from a forest in northern France where 2,000 U.S. Marines lost their lives during World War I and another 7,000 sustained injury, according to a CNBC report.
Now, that tree is gone, prompting lots of speculation. However, an explanation for the trees’ temporary removal suggests the original planting was never meant to be permanent. The tree, which serves as a symbol of 250 years of U.S.-French relations, is in quarantine. The tree’s roots remained wrapped in plastic while the presidents “planted” it at the White House.
French ambassador to America, Gerard Araud, explained on Twitter that the tree must undergo a quarantine. Such a quarantine is mandatory for any living organism that enters the U.S. to prevent the spread of any parasites. Once that period passes and the tree doesn’t pose a risk to species here, the tree will return to its location at the White House where it should hopefully live for many years and be a reminder of the ties that bind the two countries.
100 years ago, American soldiers fought in France, in Belleau to defend our freedom. This oak tree (my gift to @realDonaldTrump) will be a reminder at the White House of these ties that bind us. pic.twitter.com/AUdVncaKRN
— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) April 24, 2018
No. The roots were enclosed in a plastic protection. https://t.co/3HkZgl08m1
— Gérard Araud (@GerardAraud) April 29, 2018
During the planting, a “bromance” of sorts developed between the two presidents, and social media actually loved it a little bit. Plus, both first ladies appeared chummy during their time together.
First lady Melania Trump made headlines during that symbolic moment (as she often does) with her fashion statement on the White House lawn. She donned a Dolce & Gabbana dress topped with a Givenchy tuxedo cape and completed the entire ensemble with Christian Louboutin heels.
The heels seemed somewhat out of place for gardening, but of course, she wasn’t really gardening, and it turns out that neither was President Trump nor President Macron since the planting of the oak sapling turned out to be symbolic itself.