WASHINGTON - A tree planted last year by French President Emmanuel Macron and President Donald Trump to symbolize 100 years of French and American friendship has died, according to French media reports.
The French newspaper Le Monde called the tree's demise a metaphor for a relationship that has taken a downward turn since Macron's visit to the White House in 2018.
In April of last year, the two leaders took part in a ceremony in Washington, where they took turns shoveling dirt on top of the sapling.
"This oak tree ... will be a reminder at the White House of these ties that bind us," Macron wrote on Twitter.
Even the tree itself was symbolic - the sapling was harvested from Belleau Wood, the French site of one of the bloodiest battles in World War I for American forces.
The tree was removed by American authorities a few days after it was planted to be placed in quarantine like any other agricultural import to the USA. Gerard Araud, the French ambassador to the United States, took to Twitter to reassure people that the tree "will be replanted afterwards."
The relationship between the two countries has been strained by tensions over Iran nuclear policy, international security commitments and the resurgence of nationalist forces in Europe.
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Tree planted by Trump and Macron to symbolize French-American friendship has died