Scientists will attempt to clone Lady Liberty, a 2000 year old cypress, situated in the Big Tree Park of Seminole County. When an even older cypress called the Senator, which was based only 40 feet away from Lady Liberty, burned in 2012, the forest activists started paying a lot more attention to Lady Liberty’s health.
The Senator is believed to have lived for approximately 3,500 years and was the biggest and oldest bald cypress tree in the world. When it died, it had a 125 height and a trunk 17,5 feet thick.
Lady Liberty has an 82 feet, skyscraper height, is 10 feet thick and it has a crown circumference of 34 feet. The cypress is protected with the help of a security fence that is 8 feet tall. Lady Liberty is a bald cypress (Taxodium distichum) and although it has an impressive height, it is not the tallest tree in California. The tree will live for maximum 5 years longer, according to David Milarch, who specializes in reforestation.
For a lot of year, Lady Liberty was called the Companion, being overshadowed by the more older and popular cypress tree in its vicinity. In 2005, the Geneva Elementary School organized a contest in order to find a better, more suited name for the ancient tree. Because two kids from the fifth grade entered with the name Lady Liberty, they won the contest. The name suits the cypress tree, mostly because if viewed from a certain point, some of the tree branches look like the lifted arm of the Statue of Liberty. When the tree was renamed, a fence was raised around it in order to protect it. Access to the tree was also possible since that moment.
Since the Senator died, Lady Liberty became the main attraction of the park. Also, new fences were raised in order to protect the tree, after fire managed to destroy its more popular sibling.
The cloning will be attempted by the Archangel Ancient Tree Archive, a nonprofit organization from Michigan, run by David Milarch. The organization’s purpose is the reforestation with the help of really old, cloned trees.
A former researcher from the Florida University said that he believes that the cloning of big, old trees in order to save them is possible. On Monday, three people climbed the tree, hoping to gather samples that could help clone the old tree. Scientists will attempt to clone Lady Liberty by treating the cuttings from the tree with steroids, that will later enable a root growth.
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