Trump Macron plant tree at White House during state visit 2018
Photo: Getty Images

Over the weekend, the young oak tree that French President Emmanuel Macron just gifted President Trump vanished from the White House lawn, a patch of yellow grass taking its place.

For a minute, it seemed like the sapling might have been disappeared, mafia-style, after Macron's Wednesday afternoon address to a joint session of Congress. In his remarks, Macron repudiated much of Trump's "America First" agenda after stroking him, sometimes literally, for several days.

But apparently no drama has taken root. The AP reports that the French president's office says the tree has been placed in quarantine, as is required of all plants and animals that enter the country from overseas. A French official added that Trump had insisted on holding a planting photo op and that both sides knew the tree would be quarantined.

The White House told NPR the young oak was "moved to a facility" to "ensure the tree's long-term survival" and that it will be replanted as soon as possible. On Monday, Trump and Macron posed for photos while planting the tree in front of the White House. White House officials say the tree's roots were wrapped at the time.


The gift was something of a double troll for Macron. Trump is a climate-change denialist who pulled the U.S. out of the Paris Climate Accord, so the French president's arboreal gift could be read as an environmental message. Last year, when Trump announced that he was withdrawing from the accord, Macron posted an online video urging viewers to "make our planet great again" and inviting climate scientists to move to France.

The European sessile oak was taken from Belleau Wood outside of Paris, a World War I battle in which 1,811 U.S. Marines were killed. Issues of world peace were on Macron's agenda for the state visit: He hoped to persuade Trump to keep the U.S. in the Iran nuclear deal and to develop a plan for dealing with the Syrian conflict.

Latest From ...