The tree was meant to symbolize the friendship between the US and France, yet it had died while the two presidents met in Caen for the 75th anniversary of the D-day landings, the diplomatic sources confirmed to AFP, which the sources suggested was a “metaphor for a relationship that isn’t what it once was”
Macron, on a state visit to the US at the time, tweeted that the sapling would be “a reminder … of these ties that bind us” and the “tenacity of the friendship” of the two nations. From little acorns, great transatlantic ties would take root and grow, was the message.
The sapling came from Belleau Wood, north-east of Paris, the location of a ferocious but pivotal battle in which 1,811 Americans died in June 1918 during the First World War.
Macron and Trump, wielding gold-coloured spades, shovelled dirt around it, while being watched by first ladies Brigitte Macron and Melania Trump and the world’s press during the April 2018 state visit. However, once the cameras were off, the tree was uprooted and placed into quarantine to avoid the spread of non-native diseases and invasive insects.
Gérard Araud, the then French ambassador to the US, explained that the move was “mandatory for any living organism imported into America” and that the tree would be replanted later, yet it has died in quarantine.