MARTINEZ (CBS / AP) — More than one hundred years after John Muir helped conserve thousands of acres of California wilderness, arborists are trying to clone a dying tree the naturalist brought to the Bay Area in the nineteenth century.

Arborists said the tree Muir replanted on what is now the John Muir Historic Site in Martinez is diseased. Muir brought it there from the Sierra Nevada almost 140 years ago.

A Michigan tree-cloning organization is now trying to turn more than 700 cuttings from the tree into a new giant sequoia — no easy feat. A giant sequoia has never been cloned before.

David Milarch of the Archangel Ancient Tree Archive has placed the cuttings in a capsule and controls their soil, water and air temperature. He has also treated them with hormones and antibiotics.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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