Tree planted by Emmanuel Macron and Donald Trump at White House disappears - for now

US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump participate in a tree planting ceremony with French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte Macron on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, on April 23, 2018.
US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump participate in a tree planting ceremony with French President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte Macron on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, on April 23, 2018. PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - 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.

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 favour 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."


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