A very large old elm tree was chopped down on 34th Street in Astoria this spring, much to the dismay of residents. One longtime resident of the block saved some of pieces the tree as souvenirs. She thought the branch in her backyard was dead, but it began sprouting new branches and leaves the other day. A neighbor called up an arborist named David McMaster, who works for Bartlett Tree Experts, who came and took some clippings back to his lab, in order to grow at least one root-bearing clone of the original tree.

According to DNAinfo:

“McMaster will bring the 15 to 20 cuttings he took to the greenhouse at John Bowne High School in Flushing, where he and students in the agriculture program will attempt to get them to grow roots by dipping them in a ‘root generating hormone’ and planting them in perlite and water.”

McMaster should also put some poison ivy oil in the formula, too, so that if anyone tries to fuck with the tree again, he’ll get that horrible itching-burning sensation. What’s the point of cloning if you don’t make a mutant?

(Photo: Stephanie Santana)