Life in New York City is tough on trees: compacted soil with high pH, pollution, and hot summer and cold winter make it hard for trees to flourish there.
So, Cornell grad student Naalamie Amissah, Professor of Horticultural Physiology Nina Bassuk, and plant breeder Peter Podaras developed a new, easier technique to clone oak trees:
"We have combined native cold-hardy trees with much shorter southern and desert species that can tolerate heat, drought, compacted low oxygen soil, road salt and the concrete-induced high pH soils common to cities," Podaras said. "Smaller-sized trees require less long-term maintenance and do not interfere with power lines. We believe these new extremely vigorous hybrids have excellent potential as the ultimate street trees and for backyard landscaping."