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History’s oldest tree The Senator cloned after druggy fire

Posted at 11:10 PM, Feb 20, 2013
and last updated 2013-02-20 23:10:11-05

LONGWOOD, Fl.--The infamous tree known as The Senator was destroyed last year. It was a tree with 35 centuries of history within its bark.

All that remained of the historic landmark was a ruined trunk, after the Jan. 16, 2012 fire started by Sarah Banes. She admitted to starting the fire by doing drugs.

Now Seminole county might have found a new replacement for what was one of the five oldest trees in the world.

This week, a flatbed truck delievered a genetic replica of The Senator to the park.

Marvin Buchanan and his northern Florida nursery was the one which happened to pick up part of The Senator back in the nineties during their work to create a cypress tree nursery.

They had used some scions off of a branch to clone The Senator.

The nursery made several clones by placing parts of the stick they picked up and placing those pieces in tree roots. The clone was trucked in Monday and transplanted just 15 yards away from what's left of The Senator. In all, it was about a $13,000 process.

The program manager says the money and effort will be well worth it when Big Tree Park opens to the public soon.

It's going to take a long time, of course, to reach the grandeur that The Senator was, but it's a start.

Click on the video for the full report.