Emmanuel Macron brought a thoughtful gift to the White House last week: an oak sapling from a World War I battlefield north of Paris. While the tree looked a bit barren, the French president’s gift resulted in a feel-good photo op with his wife Brigitte and hosts Donald and Melania Trump.
But a few days later, the tree vanished. News photos from Saturday (April 28) show a patch of discolored grass where the tree stood only a few days earlier.
The reason? Like all agricultural products brought from abroad, the tree needs to be checked for parasites that could damage native plants, Reuters reports. When the tree was placed in the ground for the dedication ceremony, the roots were still under protective plastic wrapping, reports NPR. After its symbolic planting, the tree was quickly dug up and placed in quarantine.