Update: The French president’s office explains why the tree was removed.
WASHINGTON — A mystery is brewing at the White House about what happened to the oak tree President Trump and President Emmanuel Macron of France planted there last week.
The sapling was a gift from Macron on the occasion of his state visit.
News photographers snapped away Monday when Trump and Macron shoveled dirt onto the tree during a ceremonial planting on the South Lawn. By the end of the week, the tree was gone from the lawn.
The White House hasn’t offered an explanation on whether it was being moved to another spot on the White House grounds.
The European sessile oak sprouted at a World War I battle site that became part of Marine Corps legend.
About 2,000 US troops were killed in the June 1918 Battle of Belleau Wood, fighting against a German offensive.
The tree is a symbol of appreciation for the sacrifices America made for France— and an apparent nod to Macron’s concern for the environment. The French president had requested that that it be planted outside the White House.