A clone of the original apple tree that dropped an apple on the head of Sir Isaac Newton has fallen down in Cambridge Botanic Garden after record winds have battered the UK during Storm Eunice.
Garden curator Dr Samuel Brockington tweeted that the tree has stood at the entrance of the gardens for 68 years, and was cloned from a tree in Newton’s childhood home in Woolsthorpe Manor, Lincolnshire. Multiple grafts were taken from the original tree – which was also felled by strong winds in the 19th century, ironically – many of which were planted in estates such as Belton House, according to Brockington. But a scion – a young shoot or twig of a tree – was grafted for research, and most Newton Apple Trees that exist today are clones of that original scion.
While the tree is a hard loss, its legacy will live on in three clone grafts that were taken in anticipation of its eventual fall. Two of these grafts still remain at the Botanic Gardens, soon to be planted.
"So through the remarkable science of grafting, our scion of 'Newton's Apple Tree' will hopefully continue in our collections", Brockington said.
Newton, 1 – Eunice, 0.