Common Misconceptions & FAQ’s

Let us set the record straight about our mission to preserve these amazing trees

FAQ's and Misconceptions about ArchangelArchangel Ancient Tree Archive is doing something truly unique. We are archiving the genetics of some of the oldest, largest, and perhaps most iconic trees on Earth. We do this by replanting clones of these ancient forest giants to capture carbon from the atmosphere, and to make sure the genetics of these trees – many of them threatened – will be around for future generations. There are, however, some FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) and misconceptions about our activities, so we’d like to give you the straight story about our beliefs and activities.


You're cloning trees? That sounds complicated and unnatural.

When we use the word “cloning,” we’re talking about a type of asexual plant propagation. Propagation is simply the process of creating more plants, through seeds, bulbs, cuttings, and more. Trees and plants naturally propagate themselves all the time. It may take some practice to propagate ancient redwoods, but cloning plants is something almost anyone can learn how to do!

You want to plant forests of clones? Bad idea!

We couldn’t agree more. Monoclonal forests can be very vulnerable to disease, pests and weather extremes. Genetic diversity keeps forests healthy. We believe that at an absolute maximum, only 10% of the forest should be “champion clones.” Restoring natural forests isn’t all Archangel seeks to do. Replanting trees in urban areas is another core part of our mission.

This project is just about climate change.

We’re not climate scientists, but we do know that trees are incredibly valuable to our planet. They breathe in carbon dioxide and exhale oxygen. They purify our air, water, and soil. Studies show they can even improve our health and happiness.

You only work with giant sequoia and coast redwoods.

Actually, we’ve worked with more than 100 species, including many species native to our home state of Michigan. Giant sequoia and coast redwoods are magnificent, but we seek to propagate and plant champion trees of many species. Our motto is, “The right tree, in the right place.”

A small nonprofit planting trees isn't going to make a difference.

It’s true: we can’t do this alone. That’s why AATA’s Tree School is such a fundamental (though often overlooked) part of our mission. In Tree School, we teach children basic techniques to create more trees – or as we like to say, we “propagate the propagators!” By empowering children, we can plant seeds of hope.


How can I buy a tree?

This is one of the most common questions we receive, and the answer might surprise you! We don’t plan on selling any of our trees. We are an organization focused on saving the genetics of representative trees from the last remaining old growth forests. This is an arduous and expensive task. Our funding comes solely through donations to our mission. Find out how to Sponsor-A-Tree here.

I have a large property and would love to have you plant your trees here. Is this possible?

Any planting on private property would require a donation to cover the cost of propagating and shipping the trees. We have a limited inventory, and the trees would have to be a species that would grow in that climate zone. We do not have sequoia available at this time. We do have coast redwoods for the proper climate zone.

I am an arborist/tree climber/botanist and would like to get involved with Archangel. What are my options for volunteering?

Volunteer positions will be posted on the website and on Facebook.

I found a giant/ancient/important tree that I think you should clone. Will you?

As a small nonprofit, we can’t travel without without funding. So, if someone wants a particular tree cloned, they would have to provide travel and other expenses.

I would like to plant a certain kind of tree, or I need tree planting advice like, "will it grow in my area?"

It is great that you want to plant trees! Local areas are best served by local conservation districts, extension offices, or local nurseries. You should check in your area online for your local resources.

Don't you have more frequently asked questions?

We sure do! We are working to add them to this page! Thanks for asking! Do you have one? Let us know!

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