A non-profit group is cloning redwoods and with the intention of planting them around the world to fight climate change.
According to the Associated Press, David Milarch, co-founder of Archangel Ancient Tree Archive and his sons have crisscrossed the U.S. in search of "champion" trees that have survived thousands of years. While scientists are skeptical, Milarch is convinced that superior genes have allowed them to outlast the others, making them the ideal trees to clone. Milarch also claims that redwoods and sequoias are the trees best suited to combating climate change.
"This is a first step toward mass production," Milarch said. "We need to reforest the planet; it's imperative. To do that, it just makes sense to use the largest, oldest, most iconic trees that ever lived."
By placing branch tips in baby food jars containing nutrients and hormones, Milarch has produced genetic copies of 70 of the world's oldest and largest trees. The specimens are grown in the lab until they're large enough to be planted; the challenge is finding places to plant the trees and raise them.
"A lot of trees will be planted by a lot of groups on Arbor Day, but 90 percent of them will die," Milarch said. "It's a feel-good thing. You can't plant trees and walk away and expect them to take care of themselves."
The first planting took place in December on a ranch near Port Orford, Oregon. Others will be planted at the College of Marin in Kentwood, California, and in Australia, New Zealand, Great Britain, Ireland, Canada, and Germany.