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Dublin: 5 °C Wednesday 11 December, 2019

A 'friendship tree' planted by Trump and Macron last year has died

The two presidents planted the tree on the South Lawn of the White House in April, 2018.

Macron Visit to the White House Source: DPA/PA Images

AN OAK TREE planted in the garden of the White House by US President Donald Trump and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron last year was said to symbolise the friendship shown by the two leaders.

But relations between them have since frayed – over issues ranging from climate change to Iran to trade – and the tree, a diplomatic source said this week, also failed to survive.

The French president offered the young oak to Trump on the occasion of a state visit to Washington in 2018, and the two shoveled dirt around it under the watchful eyes of their wives – and cameras from around the world.

It was a symbolic gesture: the tree came from a northern French forest where 2,000 US Marines died during the First World War.

But a few days later, the tree was nowhere to be seen, having disappeared into quarantine.

“It is a quarantine which is mandatory for any living organism imported into the US,” Gerard Araud, then the French ambassador to America, wrote on Twitter, adding that it would be replanted later.

Late last year the relationship between the two presidents had publicly soured with Trump mocking his French counterpart on Twitter after Macron made awkward comments about nationalism during an Armistice Day visit.

The tree was never replanted and the diplomatic source has revealed that it died during its quarantine.

© AFP 2019

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