The French president's office says there's nothing mysterious about the disappearance of a sessile oak tree he planted on the White House lawn. It was put in quarantine, reports the AP, like other plants or animals brought into US territory. The sapling was a gift from French President Emmanuel Macron for his state visit to President Trump last week. An official in Macron's office said Monday that Trump insisted on holding a symbolic planting ceremony alongside Macron despite the quarantine requirement. The official said both sides knew all along that the tree would go later into quarantine. No word yet on when or where it might resurface.
Fortune notes that US Customs and Border Protection regulations often mandate such quarantines to mitigate the risk of spreading pests; many sessile oaks in northern France have suffered from the spread of the oak processionary moth, which has not yet made it to the United States. The oak originally sprouted at the World War I Battle of Belleau Wood in northern France, where about 2,000 US troops died fighting a German offensive. A pale patch of grass now covers the spot where the presidents planted it.
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