Macron brought the oak sapling with him from a key French World War I battlefront 100 km northeast of Paris, where a US Marine Corps unit had beaten back a German offensive in the summer of 1918 at the cost of over 9,000 lives.
President Macron had referred to the tree as a "reminder at the White House of these ties that bind us." The Marines tweeted that the two countries' "commitment to peace and freedom" was "as strong today as it was in 1918."
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. pic.twitter.com/AUdVncaKRN— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) 24 апреля 2018 г.
100 years ago, the @USMC fought at Belleau Wood, France. @EmmanuelMacron presented @realDonaldTrump with a tree from that hallowed ground and they planted it together at the @WhiteHouse. Our commitment to peace and freedom in Europe is as strong today as it was in 1918. pic.twitter.com/jq2RvPHOI7— Marine Forces Eur_Af (@MarForEUR_AF) 25 апреля 2018 г.
However, a few days later, a Reuters photographer discovered that a yellow spot was all that was left in the oak sapling's place. Social media users aren't quite sure what to make of the mystery of the missing tree.
Remember the tree Macron and Trump planted last week? Apparently, it's gone. Disappeared. Some bad hombres must be responsible. Or it's all fake news: L'arbre planté par Macron et Trump à la Maison-Blanche a disparu https://t.co/eKBKn4ioFm— Jonathan Eyal (@JEyal_RUSI) 29 апреля 2018 г.
French Twitter users in particular were quick to dub the mysterious disappearance as a bad omen, or worse, a snub.
Le chêne a disparu mais le « Gland » est rentré à l'Élysée! 😂— Tangosierra74 🇫🇷 (@Tangosierra74) 29 апреля 2018 г.
Mauvais présage? L'arbre de l'amitié planté par Macron et Trump a déjà disparu… https://t.co/zaGsJ9yY0Q
"The oak has disappeared but the acorn has returned to the Elysee! Is this a bad omen? The tree of friendship planted by Macron and Trump has already disappeared."
#Hypocrisie— qmike549 (@qmike5491) 29 апреля 2018 г.
Il ne reste RIEN de la rencontre aux #USA #Macron #Trump#Trump n'a cédé sur RIEN #Climat #Iran #CommerceInternational #TaxesAcier
Nous apprenons que l'arbre planté par les protagonistes a disparu de la circulation
Voyage inutile: Symboles aux #Oubliettes pic.twitter.com/VLK9CGJ4VA
"#Hypocrisy. Nothing remains of the meeting in the #USA between #Macron and #Trump. #Trump did not give up on ANYTHING — #Climate, #Iran, #InternationalCommerce, #SteelTariffs. We now learn that the tree planted by the leaders has disappeared. A useless visit. #Forgettable symbols."
Le seul succès du voyage de #Macron aux #USA: planter un arbre dans le jardin de la Maison Blanche, sûrment pour compenser le retrait de #Trump de l'accord de Paris sur le climat.— Djordje Kuzmanovic (@Vukuzman) 29 апреля 2018 г.
Le chêne est déjà retiré. Macron est le gland de cette farce grotesque.https://t.co/acylHxpfp8
"The only success of #Macron's #USA trip: planting a tree in the White House garden, will be sure to offset #Trump's withdrawal from the Paris climate deal. The oak has already been removed. Macron is the acorn of this grotesque farce."
Peut-on imaginer qu'un grain de sable disparaisse de #WhiteHouse #USA sans que le président ne soit au courant? Alors un arbrisseau entier…! Échec de la #politique étrangère de #LaREM? #Macron https://t.co/U5YvCwPcwa— LionEngagé ن 🇫🇷 🇪🇺 (@LionEngage) 29 апреля 2018 г.
"Can anyone imagine that a grain of sand could disappear from the #White House without the president knowing it, not to mention an entire tree! Is this a failure of LA Republicque en march's foreign policy?"
Others joked that it was "conspiracy theory time."
LOLOL!!! If y'all only knew how funny this is. Who has got the visuals of Trump pulling up the tree at midnight while wearing wifebeater, boxers, & garter socks? I wish I could draw.— Nikki Orkid (@NikkiOrkid) 29 апреля 2018 г.
Tree planted at White House by Trump and Macron appears to have vanished https://t.co/lB6GnPSXjN
The Elysee seems have to resolved the mystery. A spokesperson told Huffington Post France that the tree was quarantined to prevent the spread of invasive diseases and insects. Naturally, social media users found this explanation funny as well.
L'arbre offert par Emmanuel Macron à Donald Trump mis en quarantaine sanitaire… drôle 😄😄😄 https://t.co/pJ78fORtkS— Binbin ن #Faire (@binbin59300) 29 апреля 2018 г.
"The tree gifted by Emmanuel Macron to Donald Trump has been quarantined. How droll."