there are a few things in dont understand in the tea world…
What is a clonal? and how do they do it?
What is a hybrid and how do they do it?
Why not just using seed?
Tea takes about three years to reach adult-hood when grown from a seed. It’s easier to start from a clipping, because it grows faster and BEGINS closer to “adulthood”.
Hybrids are created from grafting—it’s the same in the world of apples. Apple seeds don’t produce clones of the mother tree; the apple seed contains the DNA for every last possible apple in existence, and there’s no way to pick. Most types of apples aren’t consumable (crab apple, etc) thus apple growers graft and grow from cuttings to produce perfect clones of the trees they want. Hybrids are created from grafting different types of tea plants together, so branches grow the tea you WANT. Cloned from a mother plant.
This gets into clonal, which is a term used for cloned bushes. It’s gotten much more sophisticated than just grafting and growing from cuttings to produce clones of the bushes that have grown the best in the past. It overlaps a little with more specific selected breeding and genetic research done in labs.