Researchers are trying to make a clone of the Lady Liberty cypress tree at Big Tree Park in Seminole County. With the aim of collecting fresh tissue of the tree, three climbers ascended the tree on December 28 2015. The trunk of the tree is 10 feet in thickness and the tree itself is about 90 feet tall. This cypress is 2,000 years old and is surrounded by a full-grown hickory, sweet gum and cabbage palm trees.
Around four years ago the Lady Liberty’s larger sibling, the Senator, was ruined by fire. The Senator was older than the Lady Liberty and was situated at the same park. Researchers fear that despite its enormous size and in the protection of an 8-foot-tall security fence, the Lady Liberty might not be able to survive for very long.
"I'm thinking it won't be here in another five years. Archangel Ancient Tree Archive specializes in a cloning technique that coaxes tree tissue to grow its own roots”, said David Milarch, owner of the nonprofit Archangel Ancient Tree Archive, which is a Michigan group that clones the biggest and oldest trees for the purpose of reforestation. However, Andy Kittsley, the Forestry Manager of Orlando city, is happy about the fact that the climbers have obtained a culture for a clone.
The thin branches obtained from the tree will be used as raw ingredient while cloning. The fresh tissue of the tree, which was ice-packed, has been transported to a cloning lab in Michigan.