White House tree planted by Trump, Macron vanishes

05 May, 2018, 21:47 | Author: Diane Mills
  • Saul Loeb  AFP  Getty Images FILE

The oak originally sprouted at the site of World War I's Battle of Belleau Wood in northern France during the summer of 1918, where about 2,000 United States troops died fighting a German offensive.

The oak sapling that French President Emmanuel Macron brought from a forest in France for him and US President Donald Trump to plant on the South Lawn of the White House has apparently disappeared. The two heads planted the sapling on April 23 in the South Lawn.

Trump is a climate-change denialist who pulled the USA out of the Paris Climate Accord, so the French president's arboreal gift could be read as an environmental message.

It's also better to plant oak trees in the fall, not the spring, so the gift may very well be back on the lawn in a few months. A pale patch of grass was left in its place.

"It will soon be replanted in the White House gardens", the source said.

After entering the First World War in 1917, US forces were instrumental in beating the Germans back on the Western Front in 1918 and liberating France.

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US First Lady Melania Trump and Brigitte Macron, wife of the French President, tour the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, April 24, 2018.

Now the oak sapling is gone - at least temporarily. Today, we learned the tree has vanished from the spot.

In a tweet, Macron said: "100 years ago, American soldiers fought in France, in Belleau to defend our freedom".

But the real story, according to a French official, is that the tree is being quarantined per US customs rules to prevent the spread of foreign disease and parasites. The problem: Parasites on the tree could spread to others on the White House property.

Reuters reported that the tree grew near the "Devil Dog" fountain.

Once the conspiracy theories could be tossed aside, it seemed clear that the Trump administration is pretty serious about immigration - even of plants.

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