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Tuesday, 24th May 2011
In General Japan News,

Scientists aiming to re-grow forest from just one tree

Before the March 11th earthquake, the Takata Matsubara forest was a popular beauty spot and a top tourist destination in Iwate prefecture, but now there is just one tree out of 70,000 still standing.

In an ambitious effort to re-grow the entire forest a team of local dendrologists has taken clippings taken from the one remaining pine tree, the Yomiuri Shimbun reports.

The two-kilometre stretch of beach where this forest one stood is currently experiencing particularly high levels of salinity.

However, the Forest Tree Breeding Centre of the Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute has embarked upon the project, by taking five-centimetre long branches with buds and attempting to graft them together.

Takeshi Sunohara, chief of the centre's Tohoku Regional Breeding Office, told the local newspaper: "The best time for grafting is around March, before the tree sprouts. The timing in this case was a bit late."

He added that the age of the tree, believed to be at least 270 years old, makes the task even more challenging.

Written by Kimberley Homer

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