In a symbolic event last week, President Donald Trump and French President emmanuel macron planted an oak tree in front of the White House. The two presidents were accompanied by their wives as media and camera crews recorded the historic event. However, a Reuters photographer visited the site over the weekend and noticed that the tree apparently disappeared from where it was planted. The photographer reportedly only spotted a yellow spot on the grass where the tree once stood. Since there was no official statement regarding the mysterious disappearance of the tree, wild speculations then began to spread online.

A special gift

The tree, which was a European sessile oak imported from the site of the Battle of Belleau Wood during World War One, was given to President Donald Trump as a reminder of the “ties that bind” the two nations. According to the BBC, the specific location where the tree was taken from in northern France saw the deaths of over 2,000 United States Marines during the First World War. The tree was planted in front of the White House as a physical symbol of the 250-year relationship between France and the United States.

Commemorative event

The planting ceremony itself understandably garnered a lot of attention from the public. However, first lady Melania Trump made quite an impression during the event as she donned her Dolce & Gabbana dress and Givenchy tuxedo cape.

Trump and Macron also shared some “bromance” moments during the event, which has since been turned into an online meme. Photos of Trump and Macron carrying shovels and digging a hole quickly spread online and became an internet sensation overnight.

Mystery solved

Shortly after news spread of the tree’s mysterious disappearance, French Ambassador Gerard Araud immediately went to Twitter to put an end to the speculation.

Araud revealed that the tree was removed from the White House lawn and was taken into quarantine. It was also explained that the “planting” part of the ceremony never really took place as the tree’s roots were actually wrapped in plastic during the event. The United States Customs and Border Protection reportedly still had to procure a foreign phytosanitary certificate for the foreign plant.

France Info, a French radio network, speculated that the tree may be planted in October as this type of oak tree actually thrives when it is planted in autumn. However, there is no official word yet regarding when the tree itself will be returned to the site, or if it will ever be planted at all.