Now you tree it, now you don’t.
The oak sapling gifted to President Trump by French President Emmanuel Macron on his visit to the US last week has mysteriously vanished, reports said Sunday.
Eagle-eyed press photographers snapping pictures of the South Lawn on Saturday noticed that the European sessile oak was nowhere to be found.
Just five days after the two world leaders gamely grabbed shovels to plant the sapling outside the White House, the only sign it had ever been there at all was a conspicuous patch of yellowed grass.
While the White House didn’t provide any answers about the arbor’s abrupt disappearing act, reports indicated it may have been a victim of ex-tree-me vetting.
Citing an unnamed French government official, the Huffington Post’s French-language site reported that the sapling was put under temporary US Customs and Border Protection quarantine because it’s a non-native species.
According to the agency’s website, “certain plants and ANY plant parts intended for growing (propagative) require a foreign phytosanitary certificate in advance.”
Neither the White House nor US Customs and Border Protection responded to requests for comment.
The sapling came from the site of the First World War’s Battle of Belleau Wood, where American and French soldiers fought side by side nearly 100 years ago. Almost 2,000 US troops died fending off a German offensive.
Macron tweeted the day after the 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.”
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