Oh cloned Christmas tree, your leaves are so duplicated

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By Joanna Gill  with EBU
Oh cloned Christmas tree, your leaves are so duplicated

<p>Finding the perfect Christmas tree can be a chore.</p> <p>Tall, short, full or sparse there are trees to suit all tastes in Denmark which is the world’s largest producers of yuletide saplings.</p> <p>Christmas tree producer Bernt Johan Collet explains the complex tastes of the European market:</p> <p>“Christmas-trees are like humans, they come in all shapes and sizes. But a supplier wants symmetric trees, because you don`t want to throw away half of them. The French want a little tree, like this one.The Dutch and the Danish want a tree with some space between the branches. Because they can put the decorations in between.”</p> <p>Until now a natural process of selection was used to create virtually identical trees.</p> <p>But now researchers at the University of Copenhagen are developing a cloning method that would mean that within a few years all trees would look alike. </p> <p>A special robot selects the best tree seeds, clone them and reproduce them with hormones, but it seems beauty is still in the eye of the beholder.</p> <p>“It needs to be green, completely symmetric, beautiful and also ecological,” said one customer on the hunt for the perfect tree.</p> <p>The search for symmetricity could kill the tradition of hunting for that perfect tree, but maybe Mother Nature will have the last laugh.</p>