Organization plants a grove of Redwood trees cloned from ancient stumps

Non-profit organization  Archangel Ancient Tree Archive (AATA) planted 75 saplings on December 14th at a park in San Francisco. This is great news the endanger coast redwoods. One of the most amazing parts about this new grove of trees is that they are all clones. The trees were born of DNA that AATA retrieved from ancient redwood stumps. The “super-grove” of coast redwoods are now growing together at the Presidio of San Francisco. These trees have the genetic potential to be the largest trees on the planet.

Co-founder of AATA David Milarch led an expedition to clone the saplings from five ancient tree stumps in northern California. The trees thought to be impossible to clone were estimated to be up to 3,000 years old and up to 400 feet tall. The picture at the top of the page is that of The Fieldbrook Stump, cut down by loggers in 1890. It was one of the largest trees to have ever lived. It was 35 feet in diameter and was also one the trees that were cloned. By comparison, the world’s largest tree today, “General Sherman” in Sequoia National Park, is reported at about 25 feet in diameter. The picture below is of a sapling, cloned from this stump.

A redwood sapling cloned from the nearly 4,000-year-old Fieldbrook stump. (Photo: Archangel Ancient Tree Archive)

It takes about 2 1⁄2 years to propagate the saplings from the cloning material and grow them large enough to plant.

“These saplings have extraordinary potential to purify our air, water, and soil for generations to come,” said David Milarch. “We hope this ‘super grove,’ which has the capability to become an eternal forest, is allowed to grow unmolested by manmade or natural disasters and thus propagate forever.”


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