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11th Jun 2019

The ‘friendship tree’ planted by Trump and Macron last year has died

Alan Loughnane


An oak tree ceremoniously planted in the lawns of the White House by French president Emmanuel Macron and US president Donald Trump last year has died.

The tree had been intended to symbolise the friendship between the two nations and was dug into the lawn by the two leaders during a state visit by Macron in April 2018.

Le Monde reported the death of the tree last week as the two presidents met for the 75th anniversary of the D-day landings. The publication stated the tree was a “metaphor for a relationship that isn’t what it was”.

The two leaders have had vastly different views over the past year most notably on the climate crisis, as well as on Iran, trade and the EU.

The tree was planted on the White House lawn last year, but according to US media, soon after it was planted last year it was removed to a quarantine.

This was done to avoid introducing any European blight or parasites. Gérard Araud, former French ambassador to the US, explained the quarantine was “mandatory for any living organism imported into America” and said it would be later replanted.

However, the tree did not survive the quarantine and has become a metaphor for the deteriorating relations between the US and France.