Will Genetic Clones of the World’s Largest Trees Help to Save the Planet?

(Port Orford, OR) The non-profit organization Archangel Ancient Tree Archive has announced plans to restore an old growth forest on the southern Oregon coast with exact genetic duplicates of some of the largest champion redwood and sequoia trees in the world. David Milarch, co-founder of Archangel Ancient Tree Archive and the Champion Tree Project International,

Port Orford Champion Redwood Planting
will lead a team in the historic planting, which will help preserve the genetics of the largest and oldest living organisms on earth in an effort to assist with the migration of the species during coming climate changes. Timed to take advantage of the seasonal rainy season, the planting will occur on December 4th, 2012, at Ocean Mountain Ranch, 65 miles north of the California border, located in the headwaters of the Port Orford Community Stewardship Area overlooking old growth forest and the first marine reserve on the Oregon coast.

David Milarch and his lifelong efforts to reforest the world are the subject of a new book by New York Times science writer Jim Robbins entitled The Man Who Planted Trees: Lost Groves, Champion Trees, and an Urgent Plan to Save the Planet.The book documents Archangel’s and Milarch’s mission to clone the champion trees of the world –- the largest, the hardiest, the ones that have survived millennia and are the most resilient to climate change — and create a kind of Noah’s ark of tree genetics.

Fieldbrook Stump

Initially, many scientists and tree experts said it couldn’t be done, but now David’s team has successfully cloned some the world’s oldest trees –- including giant redwoods and sequoias. Among the dozens of unique individual tree clones to be planted in the first forest will be a duplicate of the Fieldbrook Redwood –- a giant tree cut down in 1890 that measured 32.5 feet in trunk diameter and would have surpassed the General Sherman Sequoia as the largest tree on Earth.

In addition to preserving champion tree genetics for future research, this old growth forest restoration is an integral part of an approved forest stewardship plan that will provide a focal point for ongoing model sustainability initiatives within the local community stewardship area and surrounding Curry County, Oregon — an economically depressed region that is, nonetheless, a rare place on earth where beautiful wild and scenic rivers tumble down through steep canyons and the tallest and largest carbon-sequestering forests in the world on their way to the mighty Pacific Ocean.

 “It’s amazing for one layman to come up with the idea of saving champion trees as a meaningful way to address the issues of biodiversity and climate change. This could be a grass roots solution to a global problem. A few million people selecting and planting the right trees for the right places could really make a difference.”Dr. Rama Nemani, Earth Scientist

Click the image below for more information about the Archive Partnership with Sustainable Land Development Initiative and the home for these remarkable trees at Ocean Mountain Ranch.



‘Ancient redwoods, giant sequoias to be ‘archived’ on Oregon coast’

‘Mi man planting clones of long-dead redwoods’- Jeff Barnard, A.P.

‘Ancient Cloned Trees Planted to Begin New Forest of Redwoods’ Photo Essay by Jamie Francis, The Oregonian





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44 Responses to World’s First Planting of a Champion Redwood & Sequoia Forest

  1. Terry Mock says:

    The (London) Times
    Regrowth of lost giants takes root in Cornwall
    Clones of some of the world’s largest redwood trees will be taken to the Eden Project
    Rhys Blakely Los Angeles
    May 12, 2014 –

    The tree was a colossus, a coast redwood more than 3,500 years old when it was felled in northern California a century ago. If alive today it would probably surpass the General Sherman, the 275ft sequoia that is now the world’s largest tree. Left behind was the Fieldbrook Stump, a nub of gnarled timber 35ft wide…

    The Eden Project –

  2. Terry Mock says:

    High Country News
    To Save the West’s Forests, Scientists Must First Learn How Trees Die
    December 2013 – By Cally Carswell –

    ….If the warming trend continues — as it surely will without heroic intervention — Stephenson hopes land managers can slow the pace of change and influence its outcome for key forests
    If research begins to show that certain species can’t survive the future climate, Stephenson says, managers may decide to let those trees go, assisting their migration to more hospitable terrain
    Desperate measures to save (giant sequoias and coast redwoods)
    are already being discussed. “Mortality of big trees is a one-way street,” says Stephenson. “You can’t replace them once they’re gone.”

    The good news is that Archangel Ancient Tree Archive is already successfully cloning and planting champion giant sequoias and coast redwoods in archival living libraries around the world to assist with migration to help mitigate the effects of climate change.

  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…..

    Redwoods & Climate Change Initiative
    Media conference video summarizing the findings from the League’s RCCI Symposium event on August 14, 2013.

  4. […] World’s First Planting of a Champion Redwood & Sequoia Forest […]

  5. Tracey says:

    In the NYTimes video it stated plans to plant Sequoias in Connecticut in 2014. Can you tell me where in CT?
    Thanks! Wonderful effort.

  6. Ed Sagmoen says:

    Awesome!!! These people are actually doing work that may save the planet !!! WHERE DO I SIGN UP ???

  7. Terry Mock says:

    Earth Day 2013: Pacific High School Participates In

    (PORT ORFORD, OR – April 22, 2013) The students of Pacific High School will plant a genetic clone of one of the largest coast redwoods that ever lived on the school campus at 10:30 a.m. on Earth Day, April 22nd. The high school will join with the non-profit Archangel Ancient Tree Archive and other planting partners around the world to restore the global old growth forest by starting with exact genetic duplicates of iconic champion redwood trees. David Milarch, co-founder of Archangel Ancient Tree Archive and the Champion Tree Project International, is leading an international team of experts in the historic global planting to preserve the genetics of the largest and oldest living organisms on earth to assist the migration of the species to help mitigate the effects of coming climate change.

  8. […] such techniques, Archangel has produced many young plants that are clones of America’s “finest and best” and these are being used to create new stands of redwood forest.  Archangel believes that the […]

  9. Terry M. Terry says:

    Your work gives me much hope for the future of the planet. Trees mean life to us and the planet – if people would only see the bigger picture! Nature knows how to be in balance – we need to pay attention and learn from nature’s wisdom.

  10. bryan Breckenridge says:

    I am interested in purchasing the giant sequoia. Are they available?

    • admin says:

      That’s a great question! This is one that we get a lot and the answer might surprise you. We don’t plan on ‘selling’ any of our trees. We are currently focused on saving the genetics of representative trees from the last remaining old growth forests. This activity takes up most of our time and resources. We have limited stock, at best, of most of the trees that we are working on. What we have done is launch our ‘Sponsor-a-Tree’ program which allows people like you and organizations to participate in the planting of one of our ‘Champion’ Trees. Find out more about our Sponsor-a-Tree Program here.

      • john cooper says:

        about 20 years ago i planted a 15″ tall redwood seedling in my yard. After several years and much growth, i noticed shoots growing from near its base. I cut them off and then in a moment of wonder, i placed the cuttings in a large glass of water. A few months later roots were growing from the cuttings. I now have about a dozen Redwoods in the gully behind my home. I have even taken cuttings from other Redwoods in No.. Calif.. What a joy… Any suggestions?

        • david peter says:

          I live on a riverside farm in canby , oregon (5 + hrs north of port orford) and bought 150 seedlings -70 GS and 80 coast redwood and they went from
          2-4 ” when acquired from a redwood grower in calif to 8-14″ range after growing in 1 gal pots – plan to transplant in fall -wet season-near a foggy riverside.
          what did you do to prevent fungus in the water glass over 6 mos, and how did you cut off the lower side branches at first(chlorinated water?-I have mod mineral content ,mod iron content well water ).Wondering if doing this with even younger trees -ie seedlings – would work…I am far from a conifer tree biologist……

  11. […] December 4, 2012 – [Press Release] […]

  12. Charles Acker says:

    I am a member of a land cooperative that has 70 acres of redwood forest habitat near the mouth of Greenwood Creek-Mendocino County, CA. This was the home to some of these former giants. I would love to see a demonstration project take place here. How do we start?

  13. Ryan Gober says:

    Great work!
    I am on my township’s Shade Tree Commission. I would like to further the efforts of Archangel here in Pennsylvania. I have some green space and raparian corridor areas for which I may be able to plan a project or influence policy. What do you recommend? Willow and poplar for the raparian corridors? I would also like to plant some “Giants” here. I understand that Giant Squoia would do well, but is there a better choice?

  14. Elona & Jim Henry says:


  15. F.Troelstra says:

    Thank you very, very much for your extra-ordinary work.
    We are living in Italy in a mountainous region next to the sea ,
    – google earth : Pietrasanta > Strettoia.- ,
    and we are wondering if our local climate will be fitting for the growing of the Sequoia.
    So, were can I find comparable climate data. Starting with your region.
    We of course have a Mediterranian climate, but are up North enough, to have in winter
    0° celsius temperatures. – 32° F -. There is rain water enough, although in summer time there will be occasionally dry periods of 2-3 month, the last years. – For the first time as memorie goes, we saw a dry riverbed.-
    The -tame- Chestnut is doing fine here on the mountains, as does the Mediterranian Pine in the low lands. Unfortunately there is little respect for Majestic trees here.
    People are still using the woods for their stoves, etc. There is a National Parc Authority and a very smal local effort to plant the Mediterranian oak.
    I am living on the Via “Cerro grosso”, 22,- 55045 Pietrasanta Italy.
    -“Cerro grosso”- “Big Oak”- is the old name for this tree- Only the name remaines.
    I will enquire about any existing programs on re-forrestation by the Parc Authorities.
    And will keep you up to date on this subject.
    Is there a -Web site- with more professional expertise, biological, climatological, etc.
    concerning the Sequoia ?
    Thanks again for the good work , Noemie and Frits Troelstra.

  16. […] speculation had been triggered by a news story about cloning giant redwood trees to help offset CO2 emissions in the United States. In particular […]

  17. Jon Lee says:

    Hope the planting event was a success. I thought you’d be interested to know that my grandfather, forester David T. Mason (deceased in 1973) planted a small grove of coast redwoods on his property north of Depoe Bay, Oregon in the late 30’s or early 40’s. The trees are now approximately 80 – 100 feet tall and are healthy, but in need of thinning. Let me know if you would like to see them.

  18. Marc K says:

    Hi, it would be nice if the above included the information to the effect, ‘Archangel Ancient Tree Archive will plant 250 clones on the four acre site” so that readers didn’t have to go to the Oregonian article to find out the specifics. Not to say that readers shouldn’t check out the Oregonian article at least for the photos.

  19. Lydia Bernard says:

    Thank you to David Milarch and all those who made this day come true. If I could express for the people of the world who are unaware of this incredible effort, I am sure they would say “we are very grateful for what you’ve done; planting magnificent old world giants in their rightful place on the earth.” It must have been wonderful to witness this historic and amazing event. I imagine eyes were filled with tears during the planting.

  20. Charles Ames says:

    I wish the best of fortune to your organisation. I heard the programme on the Jefferson Exchange today. One caller mentioned the uptake of Nitrogen as a part of nutrients. Healthy fish returns are part of that. Even if that is not initially possible, are there any plans to help the young trees?

  21. […] young trees. This includes a world’s first planting event taking place on December 4, 2012. Find out more about this historic event here. Giant Sequoia Collection Booking Signing in Beulah, MI with David Milarch 7/11 Share → […]

  22. […] MORE ABOUT THIS PROJECT HERE.Tagged with → associated press • california • clones • coast redwood • […]

  23. Jan Bennett says:

    I am so proud to have this happening in Port Orford! And so thrilled to think that we are once again at the heart of efforts to save a part of this planet, this time a part that has inspired me through my lifetime. I hope that we can engage in conversation about this project as part of the programming on KPOZ FM, our new non-commercial educational community radio station here in Port Orford and serving North Curry and Southern Coos counties. Thank you for your work and your caring for our trees and our planet.

  24. nadya alvarado says:

    Blessings froim Costa Rica.
    We at the Foundation for peace are very very please to see that David has succed in his long time effort…The years to come and the growing of the forest will be a chalenge we like to be pending of.
    I will like to say , that it will be good to take in consideration other …”forces from the universe ” that could help in the growing of this and other trees..
    Think of the nature spiritus..and all the celestial forces…call on them for help
    Soon >I will send some very interesting information I recently found on other trees that no long ago also inhabit the planet.
    Good luck and best wishes.
    Love Nadya

  25. Luke says:

    How did you successfully clone the Fieldbrook Stump? Did it have any living tissue left? One good way to raise funds for the arch would be to sell clones of these famous trees for a premium. For example, sell a small 6 inch clone of the Fieldbrook Stump for something like $100 or even $500. As long as it is a certified clone of a legendary tree, people will definitely pay-up, especially if the funds are ensured to go towards future archive work. Most people will see it as a donation, with the added benefit that they get to do some propagation work themselves by planting their own clone on their own land.

    • Leo Song, Jr. says:

      Redwoods have the ability to sprout from stumps. I presume that is where the material came from. Luckily it was well marked and preserved.

  26. Franclet André says:

    attention aux détormations des racines produites par les conteneurs du type de ceux illustrés sur les photos.Depuis 20 ans ou plus je propage des clones d’arbres géants, par exemple general grant tree et adam tree ou national geographic tree et Sequoia dendron est extrèmement sensible aux déformations des racines.Jutilise des conteneurs spéciaux pour les élever en pépinière.Par exemple des mottes melfert en non tissé.

  27. Debra Harrison says:

    I was deeply inspired by the book and am thrilled to hear of this project! Yes, reforesting the planet is the work of this century. I would like to participate in the healing of our Mother. It would be so nourishing to be able to participate in this replanting. Any info on this?



    • mmarsh says:

      Thank you for your willingness to help out at the Dec. 4th planting. Due to the remoteness of the site where these trees are being planted, we have not made this event accessible to the general public. We are already at capacity for the number of volunteers that we are able to manage and utilize. Plus, we are trying to manage the weather difficulties. If you would like we can keep you abreast of future plantings as they are planned.

      Again, we appreciate every offer for help very much. Please continue to support AATA and our mission.

  28. Lois worley says:

    like the new website. small typing error on the intro to the new leader

    “in on way or another”
    should be
    in one way or another

  29. Lois worley says:

    wanted to donate thru paypal. but you don’t let it roll over to bill me later. I do it this way then I have one bill to pay each month.

  30. carolyn moody says:

    Will the public be included in the planting process on 12/4/12?

    I am so thrilled to hear of Curry County’s involvement in the planting of Champions.

    I have alerted my family and friends to the project/Robbins book/website and have sent a copy of “The Man Who Planted Trees” to Peter DeFazio, Fourth District Representative. Received a note from him in response saying he was looking forward to reading Jim Robbins book. It might be avantageous to send to his office in Eugene a note of this event. More awareness of this project is of the utmost importance at this period in time.

    Looking forward to assist in the furthering of your objectives.

    A Treebee, Carolyn Moody
    Brookings, OR.

  31. Lois worley says:

    Every chance I get I try to get people excited about your project. I can see forests of these near coal burning plants cleaning the carbon from the air. The world has to wake up and stop expanding human habitats into our forests ie., Los Angeles for an example. I so wanted you to be interviewed on the Bill O’reilly show, or CNN or some national show to get the human race aware how we can save the earth for generations to come. Brazil bulldozing the rain forest is no help.

  32. After having some personal bad news this whole week this event brought a smile to my face. There should be more events like these everywhere. Here in NY Sandy and some other past storms brought down some “mother trees” that have been around for a few hundreds of years. We need an event like that here. But it’s good to know that there are some amazing people out in the world doing some amazing things for our world and environment….. -Ronnie A

  33. […] • DECEMBER 4th – World’s First Planting of a Champion Redwood & Sequoia Forest (11/28/12) • Ancient Redwoods, Giant Sequoias To Be ‘Archived’ On Oregon Coast (11/26/12) […]

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