Horticulturists are trying to grow a new tree from the cuttings of a majestic black maple that shades the birthplace of former President Hoover.

The maple is 86 to 110 years old and split down the middle in the 1980s. It is held together by bolts and cable and is scheduled to be cut down when the Hoover cottage is remodeled in October.The National Park Service hopes for a genetic duplicate of the tree, which stands more than 90 feet and is more than eight feet around, so a link to the past can be preserved.

Larry Gilds, a horticulture professor at Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids, will take 25 to 50 cuttings from new growth on the tree this spring and place them in a hormone solution in an attempt to get roots.