Lone Clone Ready to Go
Clones Planted

Clones Successfully Planted

In its first effort to recreate a champion tree old growth forest, Archangel Ancient Tree Archive successfully planted a four-acre grove of 2,000 to 3,000-year-old coast redwood and giant sequoia clones near Port Orford, Oregon.  This living archive of trees is exactly in line with Archangel’s mission. There is much we still don’t know about these trees, and this archive will keep the genetics of these essential trees available to study for centuries to come.

Open Terrain to be Reforested

Port Orford Archive Site

Beginning on Dec. 5, 2012, Archangel Co-Founder David Milarch, along with Champion Tree Project partner Terry Mock, planted the 250 clones at Ocean Mountain Ranch on a foggy and largely inaccessible mountainside slope, located just north of the coast’s main redwood range. With the help of several foresters, the group planted the foot-and-a-half to three-foot tall trees in three days. The location of this archive was chosen because it is anticipated by scientists that future climate change will require that trees be moved north from their present range in what is being called “assisted migration”.  The planting site had been previously cleared of 50 year-old 2nd growth douglas fir under a comprehensive sustainable forest stewardship plan being implemented on the ranch.

Clones came from fifty 2,000-year-old redwoods now living along the California and Oregon Pacific coast, including cuttings from the 32.5 foot-wide Fieldbrook Stump, a giant redwood that was felled by loggers around 1890. Cuttings were collected over the period of 8 months in 2011. The plant material was brought to our propagation facility where we applied a series of growth hormones and performed a number of processes to encourage the plants to sprout roots. Growing the cuttings into viable plants in our propagation facility took between 9 and 14 months.

Fieldbrook Stump

Fieldbrook Stump

The Fieldbrook Stump sent out shoots from its stump, and the Archangel team was able to collect and propagate exact genetic duplicates of this tree that was cut down over 120 years ago. This is truly a first in the world of forestry. The stump represents one of the largest redwoods that ever lived.

Jared Milarch, Archangel’s Executive Director stated, “This planting is the culmination of many years hard work. It exemplifies who we are and what we are doing as an organization. We plan on measuring our success by the number of trees we put in the ground, in the right spot, with the right genetics, for all the right reasons.”

The clones are expected to grow at a rate of three to four feet a year. By the time they reach maturity, the giant sequoias will have the ability to store approximately four hundred tons of carbon per tree.

Jared Milarch Surveys Planting

Jared Milarch

“The planting means the same thing for Archangel as it does for the whole world. That day marked a historic change, a paradigm shift from preservation to restoration,” said Milarch. “It heralded the significance of the beginning of the healing of the planet for our children and our grandchildren to come.”

Everyone at Archangel Ancient Tree Archive is grateful to all our supporters for making this archive planting possible.

Please click this link to see a beautiful photo essay about the planting from our friend Jamie Francis at The Oregonian.

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12 Responses to Champion Tree Planting & Port Orford Archive

  1. Great list. I just search for more information about each garden center and I’m amazed. I guess that would be nice if I take some time to visit those places.

  2. heidi sause says:

    I tried to offer over 500 acres of prime Site I forestland in Oregon, near the Siuslaw River Drainage for your cuttings. Never heard back from you. We are still very much interested in giving your trees a foothold further north. We are already successfully growing Redwoods mixed in with our Douglas Fir. Our family has been in forestry for over 75 years and would love to participate in your endeavor. Thank you, Heidi Sause.

    • admin says:

      Someone will get hold of you. Thank you Heidi!

      • Terry Mock says:

        Note: Archangel Ancient Tree Archive has had only limited quantities of 1st generation clones up onto now. AATA pleased to announce that more 2nd generation clones are now becoming available and Heidi’s family forest is on the short list of those who are scheduled to receive champion coast redwood clones for experimental planting,

  3. Terry Mock says:

    Climate change may help redwoods thrive
    The Associated Press
    Aug. 14, 2013
    SAN FRANCISCO — California’s beloved giant redwood trees are in the midst of an unprecedented growth spurt, according to a climate study….. http://www.sacbee.com/2013/08/14/5649537/climate-change-may-help-redwoods.html

  4. Terry Mock says:

    Port Orford Pacific High School 2013 Earth Day Planting Video – https://vimeo.com/65431740

  5. This sounds like an effort that the American Conifer Society could & should support!

  6. richard l. morrison says:

    YES, I agree! This is a fantastic beginning and a true “Turning Point.” With the acknowledgement of your initiative in Oregon by NBC News and (last fall) by the Oregonian/Portland feature article, public awareness & support will help to sustain & expand your efforts. In keeping with this sentiment, I hope your outreach efforts will include the opportunity for people to visit the propagation facility, as well as the the project site. In any case, I’m very interested in learning more about the “Champion Tree Project” and advocating for similar/parallel initiatives. All the best. Rich Morrison, Life Member/Sierra Club

    • David Milarch says:

      You are welcome to vist us anytime. This project is for the children and grandchildren of the world.

      • In the Pacific Northwest, with the annual growth rate of Coastal Redwoods and Giant Sequoia in the 6′ to 10′ range, benefits may be realized during our life time; and on, and on, and on; getting tremendous response, and activity will dramatically pickup in August, heading into the late October to early April planting season.

  7. Terry Mock says:

    Congratulations and a big thank you to Archangel Ancient Tree Archive and the Milarch family for partnering to achieve our mutual goals:

    “The planting means the same thing for Archangel as it does for the whole world. That day marked a historic change, a paradigm shift from preservation to restoration,” said Milarch. “It heralded the significance of the beginning of the healing of the planet for our children and our grandchildren to come.”

    Onward and Upward.

    Terry Mock
    Trustee, Ocean Mountain Ranch
    Stakeholder, Port Orford Community Stewardship Area
    Co-Founder, Champion Tree Project International
    Co-Founder, Sustainable Land Development Initiative

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