Washington’s tree clone to be planted at U.S. Capitol

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MOUNT VERNON, Va. - A 6-foot sapling clone of a white ash grown by George Washington circa 1785 will be planted at the U.S. Capitol April 24.

The tree is an Arbor Day gift to the nation from the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association and the Champion Tree Project International, founded by the David Milarch family.

Long history. The Washington White Ash has grown along the south serpentine walk at Mount Vernon for more than 200 years.

The sapling clone is the first successful recreation in a project that will spawn exact genetic duplicates of each of Washington’s surviving trees.

The Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association, which has owned and maintained the estate since 1858, has pioneered the preservation movement in America.

The association will again break new ground by creating exact genetic duplicates of the trees that are the last surviving witnesses to Washington’s life at Mount Vernon.

Few survivors. Of the hundreds of trees planted by George Washington at Mount Vernon, only 13, including the white ash, survive today.

The trees are two tulip poplars, two white ash, a white mulberry, a hemlock and seven American hollies.

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