History and horticulture: Cloned trees from presidential estates form unique tribute

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ST. LOUIS - The slender little beech tree planted recently on property near the Missouri Botanical Garden looked pretty much like any other specimen. But it was special - both scientifically and historically.

The clump beech, cloned from one at President Teddy Roosevelt's Sagamore Hill home on New York's Long Island, joined an ash tree cloned from George Washington's Mount Vernon estate, and plans are to add genetic replica trees from properties owned by Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln.

Ultimately, the small grove will become a tree tribute to the four presidents represented on Mount Rushmore.

This unique nod to history and horticulture will grow on the grounds of the National Garden Clubs Inc., a non-profit group with roughly 230,000 members that promotes a love of gardening in the United States and overseas.

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