After the oldest bald cypress tree in the world, The Senator, was burned down in a meth related accident in 2012, scientists have been looking for ways to preserve its sister, Lady Liberty. So, yesterday, a team climbed the 2000 year old tree for the collection of samples for the cloning of Lady Liberty to be underway.
The Senator and Lady Liberty
The senator was the oldest and biggest bald cypress tree in the world, followed only by his sister, Lady Liberty.
The old tree rose up 125 feet, and its trunk had a diameter of 17.5 feet. It was 3,500 years old when in 2012, a young woman doing methamphetamines fell asleep leaning against the tree, and accidentally set it on fire.
She fled the scene, but was later arrested for the destruction of the protected tree and for possession of methamphetamines.
Later, a clone of the original tree was planted, dubbed appropriately The Phoenix.
Meanwhile, Lady Liberty, the Senator’s ‘sister’, is another bald cypress tree, and following the death of her brother, is the oldest and biggest of its kind.
Over 2000 years old, Lady Liberty is roughly 90 feet tall, 10 feet wide, and is situated about 40 feet from the charred husk of the Senator.
Following the demise of the Senator, as well as apparent signs of the Lady Liberty suffering from a disease that will kill it in somewhat around 5 years, experts have decided to take measures to preserve the now biggest and oldest bald cypress tree in the world.
Cloning trees for posterity
Cue yesterday’s mission, when a team of three climbers went up the tree in order to collect samples, as well as some saplings.
The cuttings were then treated with steroids in order to promote root growth (who knew steroids also worked on plants?), and they are about to be planted in order to clone the tree.
The Archangel Ancient Tree Archive is a non-profit organization based in Michigan, run by David Milarch, and it specializes in cloning the oldest and biggest trees for the purposes of reforestation.
The clone will most likely take roots, and be renamed, just like it happened with the Senator, however the huge tree, as is predicted by multiple expert parties, will probably die within the next 5 years.
Image source: Wikimedia