Francis Putz, a University of Florida botany professor, holds a sapling of a laurel cherry, a tree native to Florida, in front of a large live oak on UF’s campus on Sept. 19, 2006. Putz is researching increased deaths of live oaks from crowding by other trees, including the aggressive growing laurel cherry. The live oak, an icon in American history and literature, needs room for its crown to grow, and without it, it dies, he said.
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