It was with heavy hearts that we reported on the natural felling of the Virginia International Raceway's Oak Tree in July. The 200-plus-year-old monument actually influenced the design of the track, leading to a tricky, double-apex, right-hander called Oak Tree Turn.

Now, Road & Track is reporting on the work of scientists from Virginia Tech University's Institute for Advanced Learning and Research, who have announced that, at the behest of VIR management, they're going to attempt to clone the legendary oak. The cloned saplings will then be offered to fans, who can then plant their very own piece of this scenic circuit. It's unclear if one of the saplings will be planted in the old Oak Tree's place, although it seems unlikely considering recent changes to the corner.

Connie Nyholm, the owner and CEO of VIR, had this to say about work of Virginia Tech and the Oak Tree:

"To be able to honor the grand old oak tree in such a historic and innovative way is really special for us. We're so grateful to the IALR for helping us with this, and we're excited to be able to share the cloned tree with VIR fans. Nothing will replace the old tree, but this will serve as a great tribute to it."



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  • 18 Comments
      Ryan Schneider
      • 1 Year Ago
      "Let this abomination unto the Lord begin!!" - Farnsworth
      Proghog
      • 1 Year Ago
      VT should do the nice thing and do this also for Auburn after some crazy @$$ Bama fan poisoned the 130 year old oaks after Alabama lost to Auburn.
      arenadood
      • 1 Year Ago
      This is cool, the students can watch it grow again over years just like they did with the original tree.
      ladmichaud
      • 1 Year Ago
      Didn't anyone think to gather acorns?!?
      Matt
      • 1 Year Ago
      There is no such thing as "Virginia Tech University". According to VT's licensing and trademarks guide: "The following marks are not acceptable in referring to the university, either graphically or editorially: VPI Va (or VA) Tech Virginia Polytechnic Institute Virginia Tech University" It's just "Virginia Tech".
        fragmit50
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Matt
        Let me axe you a question. Do you think anyone really wood care about the proper spruce of the Virginia Tech name? No reason to get all uproot about the whole thing. You need to palm down.
          Kimura
          • 1 Year Ago
          @fragmit50
          I guess he had an axe to grind and felled he couldn't just leaf the author's writing alone. I'd suggest branching out ways to spend one's time on the internet.
          THE GREAT ONE
          • 1 Year Ago
          @fragmit50
          love it and the reresponces a LOL day
      4gasem
      • 1 Year Ago
      Cloning a tree? Isn't that what all the acorns are for? :)
        Richard
        • 1 Year Ago
        @4gasem
        No, you can't grow clones from seeds, each tree is an individual, only by rooting some part of the original tree can you obtain a clone. If you plant an apple seed you will almost never get the same kind of fruit from the resulting tree. You will more likely get a bitter tasting apple from a tree that produced sweet tasting apples. And vice versa, sometimes you can plant seeds from a bitter tasting apple tree that is growing in the wild, and get delicious tasting fruit from the seeds of that tree.
      Shahul
      • 1 Year Ago
      Id buy one if I had a yard...That oak tree corner is a legend
      ROLO
      • 1 Year Ago
      sounds so fake to me it falls over randomly then its set to be cloned every time i read about this tree now just seems so strange lol
      eeenok
      • 1 Year Ago
      i'm a little confused by the general gosh-wow thrust of this article ... in horticulture, cloning is usually a matter of putting a stick in the ground and waiting for new roots to sprout (this is not applicable in zoology because if your arm loses its body, it can't regrow a new one). what's going on here?
        greasemonkey
        • 1 Year Ago
        @eeenok
        Looks like the author is just trying to spice up an otherwise ho-hum story. Should just go down to Lowe`s and pick out a nice new oak to plant. Support your local Nurserymen and Nurserywomen!
      Bean
      • 1 Year Ago
      How about we don't clone anyting and stop playing God.
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