SCIENCE tutor Daniel Emlyn-Jones is trying to grow a new almond tree for Oxford’s High Street after rescuing a cutting from its fallen branches.

Like thousands of others, the 45-year-old from East Oxford was saddened when the beloved tree outside the University Church of St Mary the Virgin was cut down for safety reasons last month.

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A replacement tree is being provided by hotelier Jeremy Mogford but Mr Emlyn-Jones is hopeful his cutting will one day grow large enough to stand alongside it.

The cutting started to bloom when the former microbiologist placed it inside a tissue culture tube and he now plans to send it to a plant propagation company in Dundee.

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He said: “The cutting which I found on the pavement is all snug and blossoming in its tissue culture tube.

“Almonds are difficult to propagate by cutting, so I dusted off my microbiological techniques, bought a tissue culture kit from eBay and some swabbing alcohol from the Polish shop on Cowley Road, and am trying my hand at home tissue culture.

“My hope is that using tissue culture it will be possible to clone this tree. If I get clones, I’m happy to give them to those who will cherish them.

“The University Church is absolutely right in what they did, and they are also right to buy a new almond tree.

“It will take many years until these cuttings become trees, assuming it is successful.

“Almond trees are like people. Each one is different and there are many varieties. This grand old lady was a friend to many and in my view she is worth the effort in cloning if possible.”

READ MORE: New almond tree for Oxford High Street to be planted within weeks

Mr Emlyn-Jones said he found the foot-long cutting on the pavement in St Mary’s Passage and cut it into sections.

He added: “When I heard the tree had been cut down I went along to see what I could find.”