CLAIM

A photograph shows Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau watering a tree in the rain.

FALSE

RATING

FALSE

ORIGIN

On 26 January 2017, the Facebook page “Justin Trudeau Nope” published a photograph purportedly showing the Canadian prime minister watering a tree in the rain as part of some unspecified ceremony, while attendants hold umbrellas above participants and onlookers:

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Although the original photograph really did show two politicians watering a tree in the rain, neither of those politicians was Justin Trudeau; the image was digitally altered to insert the Canadian PM into it.

The real photograph from 2016 captured Turkmenistan President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow and Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko planting and watering a blue spruce tree in the Alley of the Honored Guests at the Palace of Independence in Minsk (as part of a tradition for heads of state visiting Belarus):

trees in the rain

While some may find this image comical and even representative of the triviality of government effectiveness, the depicted act wasn’t necessarily a frivolously symbolic one. According to Barcham, a tree nursery in the United Kingdom, newly planted trees require watering even if they are planted in a light rain:

Be mindful that newly planted trees do need watering, even if it has been raining!  Rain is useful in slowing up the volume of water needed by a newly planted tree, as it is often cooler during such periods, however it is the root-ball of the tree that needs watering and often rainfall will not fall this close to the base of the tree, due to the width of the canopy.