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June 30 2013

UK's ancient forests could spread again thanks to plan to clone 'super-trees'


Some of Britain's best-loved trees could be cloned in an effort to reproduce a range of our most successful and sturdy oaks, yews and firs.

The £2m scheme to reproduce and grow again all of Britain's biggest, oldest, tallest and most ecologically important trees has been devised by the US tree conservationist David Milarch, who hopes to reproduce all the UK's "super-trees" and then offer tens of thousands of their genetically identical offspring free to schools, cities and landowners. Famous trees that could be cloned include the Major Oak in Sherwood Forest where Robin Hood is said to have sheltered, a 3,000-year-old yew in Berkshire and a majestic 209ft fir in the Scottish Highlands.

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