Project Description
       • what is Onetrees?
 Project Map
   Project Developement & Timeline
   Biological Clones
       • how and why do you clone a tree?
 Electronic Clones: A-Life Tree
       • how and why do you simulate a tree?
       • why are the trees in pairs?
   OneTrees Sites
       • where are the trees? 
       • What is a printer queue virus good for?
   Reference / Links
   People & Places
       • who did this?
       • who supports this?


What sort of tree is this?

"Paradox" is the actual name of this tree variety. So named by Luther Burbank at the turn of the century for its paradoxical vigor. The Paradox is an F1 (1st Generation) hybrid of the native walnut tree commonly called the Northern California black, or Juglans hindsii, crossed with the English Walnut (aka the Persion walnut), or the Juglans regia.

The black walnut flower is fertilized with the English Walnut and will occasionally throw a paradox. The Paradox is much more vigrous than either of its parents, growing much larger and faster. However it does not produce fruit, and therefore has no significant amounts of pollen. This makes it a practical urban tree. Fruit and nut dropping trees are considered 'tripping hazards' and an insurance liability in urban environments; and walnut pollen can be an allergen.

The Vlach Clone

The Paradox Vlach clone is derived from the Paradox tree growing on the corner of Dakota and North Ave., in Modesto CA. It was planted in 1904 by Jake Cover. The seedling grew from a planted black walnut seed collected from an unknown black walnut tree. The tree has a circumfernace of about 30 feet, measured 4.5 feet from the ground. The person who lives in the house is Mr. Vlach, hence the name of this clone. This tree is the original source for the tissue that was used to generate the OneTree clones.

This clone is being commercially produced but the Burchell Nursery who are generously supporting this project. The clone is also being studied in the Walnut Improvement Program at UC Davis as a genetic standard used to compare the natural disease resistance of genetically diverse Paradox seedlings. 'Vlach' has shown good vigor in the nursery and is being tested in orchard trials. The commercial application is to use the Vlach as root stock on which to graft the commercial walnut producing trees.

Are these trees genetically modified?



Micropropogation techniques reduce the somatic variation results if one uses mature tissue (e.g. when you clone a tree by taking a cutting). The micropropogation techniques while promoting 'sameness' and 'standardizing', also allows for extraordinarily large numbers of plantlets to be propagated starting from a small clump of adventitious tissue (i.e. juvenile undifferentiated tissue). The process involves aseptic conditions, plant hormones and proprietary techniques. These clones are indepted to the pioneers of these micropropogation techniques for the Paradox and other Walnut cultivars, Jim McKenna and Peter Viss. This work was also generously supported by Burchell Nursery and California Carnations.

Garage Biotech

For do-it-yourself Garage Biotech tips, visit the BIOTECH Hobbyist, where you can learn to clone and micropropogate plants, grow your own human skin, sterilize in the microwave, and more.

Other Questions:

Where are other tree information projects?
Champs-Elysées Smart Trees
(Reuters, 12:15 PM, 3.Feb.99. PST)

"Welcome Bugs for Parisian Trees"
"'It takes less than 15 minutes to embed a 3-centimeter long computer chip in the trunk and enter the data in a computer,' said Christian Mantaux, a tree surgeon for two decades. (...) "The chips contain an identification number which, when read by a mobile computer, gives a readout on the trees' location, age, and condition."

Smart Trees and Rendering Growth Responses

The Champs Elysées Smart Trees project and the ONETREE project provides a fruitful comparison of representation strategies. The former, as reported by Reuters, represent these valuable trees as three data points: "location, age, condition". Produced by highend, state of the art information technology, it is these 3 data points that count as the information about these trees. It's entertaining to think that this instrumentation is used to get the updates on the trees location - not something likely to change - but this is also a radically reductive representation of the trees.

The ONETREES instrument however, captures a different way of conceiving of information with respect to the trees. Not information packets produced as simplified data product to be passively consumed, rather, it privileges a conception of information that requires interpretation. It demonstrates that this complex multi-parameter phenomena of growth can be understood in many way, can sustain many interpretations and can be 'read' from the material phenomena itself, not as a pre-interpreted digested data packet, not delivered by an expert, not wrapped in the incontestable authority of science. It facilitates and instruments a more active understanding of information, not as complete, accurate and factual, but interpretable, partial and incomplete. The evidence being more persuasive and somehow more precise for this understanding of its partiality.

What are growth responses

  • What Is There To Read From A Tree?
  • What Is There To Recognize In The Actual Material We Usually Don't See?
  • Mechanical Adaptation
  • Geotropism; Phototropism; Apical Dominance; Stress Distribution; Budding Generation; An Urban Struggle Writ Slow
  • Network of bio-monitoring:
    Pm10 Absorption; Deep Water Levels; Complex Environmental Stressors

...Trees grow inmperceptably slowly - watching the grass grow is 'high speed' - but the growth of trees is as epic as it is slow.