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Macron-Trump oak tree has died

Alistair Walsh
June 10, 2019

A sapling planted by the French and US presidents on the White House lawn, meant to symbolize friendship between the two nations, has died. It had been living in US quarantine for the last year.

The sapling in its youthful glory days, before it perished (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Image: Getty Images/C. Somodevilla

The small European oak tree that French President Emmanuel Macron and US President Donald Trump planted on the White House lawn last year has withered and died.

The tree had been intended to symbolize the friendship between the two nations and was dug into the lawn by the two leaders during a state visit by Macron in April 2018.

The oak originally sprouted at the site of the World War I Battle of Belleau Wood in northern France, where about 2,000 US troops died fighting the Germans in 1918.

Trump, Macron meet at the White House

Tree died while in quarantine

However, US media noted soon after it was planted last year that the tree had disappeared. It later emerged the tree had been removed and taken into quarantine, to avoid introducing any European blight or parasites. The quarantine is mandatory for any living organism imported to the US.

Now French media have revealed that the tree died while in quarantine, where it was intended to live in US custody for two years before being replanted back on the White House lawn.

The tree's demise has been used as a metaphor by French outlets for the deteriorating relations between the US and Europe.

Read more: Last WWII D-Day witnesses relive painful memories

When the two leaders appeared alongside each other in Normandy last week to mark the 75th anniversary of the Allied invasion of Nazi-occupied France, Macron spoke in favor of multilateralism, subtly beseeching the US leader to pursue international cohesion.

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