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What goes up… Clone of Newton’s apple tree falls during Storm Eunice

It is a scion of the original apple tree which is said to have inspired Sir Isaac Newton to formulate his theory of gravity.


(Sam Brockington/PA)

(Sam Brockington/PA)

(Sam Brockington/PA)

A clone of Newton’s apple tree, which was planted at Cambridge University’s Botanic Garden in 1954, has fallen during Storm Eunice.

It was a scion of the original apple tree which was said to have inspired Sir Isaac Newton to formulate his theory of gravity by watching an apple fall from it.

The original tree, grown in the garden of Newton’s childhood home of Woolsthorpe Manor near Grantham in Lincolnshire, “was apparently felled in a gale (much like ours) in the early half of the 19th century”, wrote Dr Samuel Brockington, curator of Cambridge University’s Botanic Gardens.

The Cambridge tree fell on Friday.

Dr Brockington said that the Botanic Gardens has three clones of the original tree, having “presciently engaged in some grafting over the past three years”.

Grafting involves the binding of shoots onto another sapling.

“Through the remarkable science of grafting, our scion of ‘Newton’s Apple Tree’ will hopefully continue on our collections,” Dr Brockington wrote on Twitter.

Cambridge University Botanic Gardens said they had “recently become aware” that the tree, which had stood by the Brookside entrance for 68 years, “had died and the strong winds proved too much”.

“We have a clone that will be planted elsewhere in the Garden soon, so Newton’s Apple will remain in the Garden, but sadly not in its accustomed place,” they said.

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