Emmanuel Macron pledges to send a new oak tree to Donald Trump
Danyal Hussain For Mailonline | 14 Days
Emmanuel Macron has pledged to send a new oak tree to Donald Trump after the original tree that he gifted to the President as a symbol of their lasting friendship died.
The two men were pictured planting the tree together on the White House lawn in April last year during the first state visit of the Trump administration.
Macron said today that the tree's death is not symbolic of a strain in relations between France and the US.
He added that he would send President Trump a new tree from the Belleau Wood in northern France, where more than 1,800 American soldiers died in a ferocious battle during the First World War.
Emanuel Macron and Donald Trump were photographed planting a young oak tree after the French President was invited for the first state visit of the Trump administration
The French President was speaking to Swiss TV station RTS.
Discussing the death of the tree, he said: 'It's no big drama. The symbol was to plant it together.'
A video of Macron and Trump planting the tree on the White House lawn, as first ladies Brigitte Macron and Melania Trump looked on, was shared at the time.
Shortly after the original young oak had been planted, it was dug back up and placed into quarantine, which is standard practice for living things imported into the US.
Gerard Araud, then the French ambassador to America, confirmed at the time that the tree had been moved and said it would be replanted at a later date.
But the tree has since died, prompting Macron's offer of a replacement.
News of the tree's demise emerges at a strained time for relations between America and France.
While Macron had a launched a charm offensive on President Trump following his 2016 election, the mood has since cooled.
The two men have found themselves at loggerheads on issues from how to deal with Iran, to trade and the importance of the European Union.
But the tree has died against a backdrop of souring relations between the two men (pictured at D-Day commemorations last week in France)
They last met in France to mark the 75th anniversary since the D-Day landings, when Macron gave a speech that made several digs at Trump's key policies.
'The United States of America is never greater than when it is fighting for the freedom of others.' he said.
'We must never forget to keep alive the alliance of free people.'
Macron then praised leaders of the Second World War for setting up the United Nations after the conflict.
He added: 'It's what the US did in setting up the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, NATO.
'It's what, a few years later, the leaders of this continent did by bringing about the European Union.
'This promise of Normandy, we must find its essence once again to seize this commitment, what we owe to our homeland, to the alliance of countries with shared values, that of democracy and liberty.'