The young oak sapling planted by US President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron over the latter’s much publicised state visit to the US in 2018 has died in quarantine, news agency AFP reported. Macron had gifted his American counterpart a young oak, which the two leaders had planted at the White House lawn.
The young oak bore historic significance as it was sprouted at a World War I site in France, the Battle of Belleau Wood, that became part of US Marine Corps lore. The video of the two leaders planting it in the presence of their respective wives in the White House lawn had attracted a lot of media attention, with many seeing it as a symbolic gesture by the French President to bridge gaps with Trump even as they disagreed on some fundamental issues.
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
But a few days later, the tree was nowhere to be seen, with reports suggesting it to be sent to quarantine for testing foreign contamination. The French President had reportedly given a backup sapling as well to Trump but the tree was never replanted, AFP reported.
For all their camaraderie, Macron and Trump are at odds on some fundamental issues, including the multinational nuclear deal, which is aimed at restricting Iran’s development of nuclear weapons. They also differ in their environmental policies.
(With inputs from AFP)