strong roots are essential for any blossoming relationship. Donald Trump and Emmanuel Macron’s growing friendship was cemented further with the acceptance of a tree sapling gift brought to the White House from France.
Ahead of the pomp and ceremony of Tuesday’s lavish state dinner, the two world leaders got their hands dirty when they planted a tree together on the White House’s South Lawn.
They grabbed some brass shovels and threw dirt over the newly installed tree as their wives, Melania Trump and Brigitte Macron, watched on.
The European Sessile Oak was selected by Mr Macron for its historical significance having come from Belleau Wood in northern France, a First World War site where thousands of US Marines lost their lives during a battle in 1918.
“100 years ago, American soldiers were fighting in France, in order to defend our freedom,” tweeted the French president, who is enjoying a three-day state visit to the US.
This oak (my gift to @realDonaldTrump) will be a reminder, in the heart of the White House, of this bond that unites us.”
Mr Trump told reporters that France is “a very special country” and was impressed with the gift, adding: “I love the tree. It’s a great honour.”
Social media users flippantly compared it to a scene from HBO mafia drama The Sopranos, while others joked the environmentally friendly gift was a dig at the US withdrawing from the Paris Climate Agreement.
After the photo opportunity they boarded Trump’s Marine One helicopter for a scenic tour of Washington DC before flying to Mount Vernon, the riverside home of George Washington, for a private dinner.
Mr Macron has the honour of being the first world leader to get a US state visit under America’s 45th president having earned a reputation as being a “Trump whisperer”.
Talks between the leaders will focus on the Iran nuclear deal, the Syrian conflict, US steel tariffs on the EU and the Paris climate change agreement.