Love a Tree? Why Not Clone It

Historic Tree in New JerseyI’ve heard of cloning animals, but never plants — until now.

A historic oak tree in New Jersey is set to be cut down, but scientists are working to clone it, according to The process includes taking about 6 inches of the original branch tip and dipping it into a rooting hormone to stimulate root growth. They, it’s put into a moist, warm environment where it will form roots.

“The new plant is genetically identical to the plant the cutting came from, since it was actually part of that plant,” says David Slaymaker, a professor of molecular plant biology at William Paterson University, in the article.

With so many strong views on the cloning of mammals, I haven’t heard much talk about trees in the discussion. In my opinion, what makes a historic tree valuable to our environment and culture is its years. Yes, the cloned tree would be part of the original, but it won’t have the same years and importance as the parent tree it came from. How can a new, growing sapling take the place of a tree that has seen its share of time and the elements?

So, what do you think? Is there a time for plant cloning, or is it going against nature?


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