Copper beeches: genetics under scrutiny

New spring leaves of copper beech. Photo Adobe Stock Photos

A project in Germany hopes to trace the pedigree of copper beeches around the world. Trevor Nottle reports on a new project that needs input from Australia.

Dr Andreas Meier-Dinkle is based at the World Heritage site Wilhelmshoe Park at Staufenberg in Germany. He is leading a research project into the genetics of copper beeches and hopes to receive samples from as many trees as possible world-wide.

He simply requires for testing a single leaf enclosed in a piece of plain white paper with some details written on the paper: the name and address of the sender, the site where the tree grows and, if possible, the age of the tree.

He said all copper beeches derive from a single tree that appeared in Germany around the early 1600s. His project is to map the genetic links between the samples he receives and the original tree – scions of which survive to this day in German gardens and arborteta.

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Dr Meier-Dinkel’s address is Kaufunger Waldstrasse 2, D-34355 Staufenberg, Germany.

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