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BARTLETT TREE EXPERTS PRESENT COUSINS’ BEECH CLONE IN CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION
By Charles Markis
On Wednesday, Aug. 29 on the west porch of Theodore Roosevelt’s Sagamore Hill home, a special presentation of a clone of the Cousins' Beech was made by the Bartlett Tree Experts. This is part of the Bartlett Tree Experts 100th anniversary during which they are planting one hundred trees in one hundred days. This centennial coincides with the centennial of the presidency of TR (1901-1909).
Bartlett Tree Experts has partnered with David Milarch of Champion Trees in a project to clone significant American trees. In addition to taking cuttings of the magnificent copper beech adjacent to the entry of the home planted by TR in 1895, cuttings were also taken of the “Cousins’ Beech.” It was so named because it was a favorite gathering place for the sixteen Roosevelt cousins who lived here and on the adjoining properties. They would meet there before going down to the beach to swim and boat.
Ironically the cloning of this tree was almost an afterthought, but in the time since the cuttings were taken, the Cousins’ Beech has since been toppled by a terrible storm. Today Sagamore Hill received one of the four clones that have rooted and eventually will be planted where the original tree stood.
Some years ago David Milarch began the Champion Tree project of cloning “Presidential Trees” including cuttings from Mount Vernon and Monticello. Mr. Milarch took cuttings at Sagamore Hill for the Mt. Rushmore series of trees, and one of the other Cousins’ Beech clones will be planted on the Mall in Washington as part of that series.
The Special Presentation Ceremony was attended by officials from the Bartlett Tree Company, NPS, members of the press, visitors and neighbors. Special guests were JOHN MUIR (portrayed by Richard E. Shore), and THEODORE ROOSEVELT (as portrayed by James Foote). The clone was presented by Greg Daniels, President of Bartlett Tree Experts and David Milarch, President of Champion Trees, and accepted by Charles Markis, Chief of Interpretation, for Sagamore Hill.
Special Partnership: Bartlett Tree Experts has provided, advice, counsel and treatment for trees and plantings at Sagamore Hill for the past four years. We are very grateful to Bartlett for their assistance and especially for their cloning of these trees which insures that living links to history will continue to grow.
Happy 100th Birthday Bartlett Tree Experts!!