Farmer reproduces Taitung's landmark tree

Taipei, Sept. 1 (CNA) A local farmer has successfully propagated three plants from the famous "Takeshi Kaneshiro tree" in Chihshang Township in Taitung County, which was uprooted during a storm earlier this year. The three saplings are growing even better than the parent tree, said the farmer surnamed Chen, who had rushed to the scene shortly after the bishopwood was toppled by Typhoon Matmo. The 7-meter-tall tree became a landmark in Chihshang Township after the airing of an advertisement in 2013 by EVA Airways Corp. that showed Taiwan-Japanese movie star Takeshi Kaneshiro sitting under its branches. Saddened by the uprooting of the tree, Chen said, he gathered seeds found in the fallen foliage, in an effort to reproduce what had become known as the "Takeshi Kaneshiro" tree. Chen said has succeeded in growing three saplings, one of which is 25 centimeters tall, and he has given one to the National Museum of Prehistory in Taitung City. The other two have been given to his friends in the hope of propagating the "Takeshi Kaneshiro tree" throughout Taitung, he said. (By Tyson Lu and Evelyn Kao)