President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron planted a tree together on Tuesday, a gift from France to commemorate the long history of friendship between the two nations. But just a few short days later, photos of that same part of the south lawn showed only a patch of grass. The tree, by all accounts, is missing.
— Business Insider (@businessinsider) April 29, 2018
The White House has not issued any statement regarding the current location of the tree, but theories abounded on social media. Some said it meant “the bromance is over,” while others jokingly pointed to “climate change” as the culprit.
But the real explanation may be much simpler. HuffPost France cites an anonymous source from within Elysée Palace who claimed that the tree had to be quarantined for a time — per U.S. Customs regulations — before it was permanently placed on the White House grounds.
If that is the case, the two presidents would have planted the tree together for the photo opportunity, knowing that it would have to be removed temporarily until it was cleared for planting.
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