Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Grow Houses and Cloned Redwoods

Posted By on Tue, Nov 27, 2007 at 11:37 AM

Strange story in the New York Times this morning about an effort to clone the biggest and most impressive redwood trees, so that they may be planted in groves around the world. Apparently they've been planting freak redwood forests here and there for years now:

One of the largest nonnative redwood forests is near Rotorua, New Zealand. Dr. Libby said there were also redwood forests in England, France, Chile, Scotland and Spain, and the search is on for other appropriate places to plant more. Redwoods can tolerate heat, but generally not temperatures below 20 degrees. They need lots of water, from rainfall or frequent fog. In the right environment they grow fast; 20-year-old trees in New Zealand can be 40 to 50 feet tall and 20 or more inches in diameter.

International redwood megastar Dr. Steve Sillett has lent his imprimatur to the cloning project.

Meanwhile, last night's All Things Considered reported on the brand-new phenomenon of "grow houses" -- homes given over entirely to the production of marijuana. Who'da thunk? NPR Reporter Martin Kaste notes that "at least 50" such homes in the Seattle area have been busted over the last two years. Pikers.

The story does contain one interesting twist, though -- Kaste manages to connect the grow-house phenomenon to the subprime mortgage market in a convincing and amusing way.

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Hank Sims

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