Cloning Giant Sequoias

Archangel Project Founder David Milarch is a featured speaker at the Earth-Keeper Sequoia Gathering. He is the living spirit & guardian of the Sequoia & Redwood.


David Milarch inside a massive hollowed Sequoia stump in California
Photo: Jim Robbins

David Milarch discovered his calling as a tree evangelist during a near-death experience from renal failure 21 years ago. “When I came to, there was a ten-page outline that I don’t remember writing,” says the cofounder of this Michigan-based environmental group dedicated to saving the worlds giant trees. His mission, dictated (he sincerely believes) byArchangel Michael: to clean up the planet’s air and water and reverse the effects of climate change by cloning the world’s biggest, oldest trees….especially the Giant Sequoia & Redwood.

Once a hard-living biker, with an interesting love of trees, David Milarch’s astonishing  interface with the Archangels in his NDE changed everything. Almost instantly, he  developed a passionate spiritual connection to old-growth trees-especially redwoods and giant sequoias…including the extraordinary ability to suddenly clearly communicate with nature. He felt the Sequoia calling. He was given a mission. Save the trees – save the planet – save humanity!

“The Giant Sequoia pump out more purified oxygen and absorb more carbon than anything on earth….and we have cut down  98% of them !”

Both the Giant Sequoia and Redwood species can live for millennia, emitting oxygen and sequestering tons of atmospheric carbon, thus the perfect way to naturally lessen the global warming ‘greenhouse’ impact.

His Angelic Mission given in the NDE is to clone & replant them all across the planet, and its working!

Milarch, along with his son Jared and Archangel-Tree project coordinator Meryl Marsh, started taking cuttings from the tops of the most titanic redwoods and sequoias they could find, as well as sprouts from huge stumps. Working in a Monterey, California, greenhouse and using various propagation techniques, project consultant Bill Werner has coaxed bits of the plant tissue to root and grow into field-ready transplants. Archangel also maintains living libraries of more than 40 cloned species, from an ancient Monterey cypress to thousand-year-old Irish oaks.

“We want to rebuild the world’s first old-growth sequoia &  redwood forest,” he says.  “They’re the most iconic trees on earth….and they are are amazing. Jut stand next to one of these ancient enormous living beings , and you will understand !”



Clones of coastal redwood trees grow in the Archangel Ancient Tree Archive lab in Michigan.
Photo: John Flesher, Associated Press

A team led by a Tree expert  from northern Michigan and his sons has raced against time for two decades, snipping branches from some of the world’s biggest and most durable trees with plans to produce clones that could restore ancient forests and help fight climate change.Now comes the most ambitious phase of the quest: getting the new trees into the ground.

Ceremonial plantings of two dozen clones from California’s mighty coastal redwoods were slated Monday – Earth Day – in seven nations: Australia, New Zealand, Great Britain, Ireland, Canada, Germany and the United States. Although measuring just 18 inches tall, the laboratory-produced trees are genetic duplicates of three giants that were cut down in Northern California more than a century ago. Remarkably, shoots still emerge from the stumps, including one known as the Fieldbrook Stump near McKinleyville (Humboldt County), which measures 35 feet in diameter. It’s believed to be about 4,000 years old. The tree was about 40 stories high before it was felled.

“This is a first step toward mass production,” said David Milarch, co-founder of Archangel Ancient Tree Archive, a nonprofit group spearheading the project. “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.”Milarch and his sons Jared and Jake, who have a nursery in the village of Copemish, became concerned about the condition of the world’s forests in the 1990s. They began crisscrossing the U.S. in search of “champion” trees that have lived hundreds or even thousands of years, convinced that superior genes enabled them to outlast others of their species. Scientific opinion varies on whether that’s true, with skeptics saying the survivors may simply have been lucky. The Archangel leaders say they’re out to prove the doubters wrong. They’ve developed several methods of producing genetic copies from cuttings, including placing branch tips less than an inch long in baby food jars containing nutrients and hormones. The specimens are cultivated in labs until large enough to be planted.

In recent years, they have focused on towering sequoias and redwoods, considering them best suited to absorb massive volumes of carbon dioxide, the greenhouse gas primarily responsible for climate change.

“If we get enough of these trees out there, we’ll make a difference,” said Jared Milarch, the group’s executive director.

Archangel has an inventory of several thousand clones in various stages of growth that were taken from more than 70 redwoods and giant sequoias. The challenge is to find places to put the trees, people to nurture them and money to continue the project. So far they have successfully re-planted the Sequoia  & Redwoods clones in 7 countries, and they are just getting started. The recipients of Archangel redwoods have pledged to care for them properly, said David Milarch. The first planting of about 250 took place in December on a ranch near Port Orford, Ore.



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