Cloning national heirloom trees

Since July 2000, National Tree Trust (NTT) has partnered with the Champion Tree Project (CTP) to continue a process originated by the CTP, that of cloning America's national and state champion trees.

Champion trees have withstood the test of time when others of the same species have not been able to do so. These organizations are working to find out why they have been able to survive when others have not; why they have attained the stature they have when others of the same species have not.

The CTP has successfully produced clones of a number of champions to date (which have now been trademarked ChampTrees), so this effort is a viable process. One aspect both organizations hope to unveil is whether these clones will achieve a size equivalent to the parent tree. Only time will tell, but they can say with certainty that these clones have the potential to do so because they possess the exact same DNA as the parent trees.

In October 2000, NTT was approached by Trees America to form a partnership with Trees America and the VFW Foundation to participate with Arlington National Cemetery in its reforestation and maintenance efforts. A percentage of the trees used to accomplish this task will be ChampTrees. Another initiative is to assist Mt. Vernon in its reforestation efforts using Champion Tree Project clones of species that made up the original Mt. Vernon forest as it existed in the days of our first president.

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