Archangel Ancient Tree Archive

The mission of Archangel Ancient Tree Archive is to:

  • Propagate the world’s most important old growth trees before they are gone.
  • Archive the genetics of ancient trees in living libraries around the world for the future.
  • Reforest the Earth with the offspring of these trees to provide the myriad of beneficial ecosystem services essential for all life forms to thrive including releasing oxygen, sequestering carbon dioxide, providing beneficial aerosols and medicines: essentially a global warming solution.

The planet is large and its needs are great. The team at Archangel Ancient Tree Archive is small and we are not fully funded. We urgently need your help now to allow us to carry out our mission. Only together can we mount an effort to preserve a livable future for our children and our grandchildren. Please give today.

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California coastal redwoods to be planted in 7 nations to fight climate change

A team led by a nurseryman 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…

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…

“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.”

—excerpts from “Earth Day: California Coastal Redwoods To Be Planted in 7 Nations To Fight Climate Change” in Photo credit: Richard Masoner/Flickr (Apr. 22, 2013)


The man who planted trees - pay it forward to the year 4012: David Milarch at TEDx


Published on May 19, 2012

David Milarch is the co-founder of Archangel Ancient Tree Archive and a pioneer in the cloning of ancient trees. He has dedicated his life to replanting the genetics of the world’s ancient forests. He has led efforts to propogate more than 90 species including the world’s oldest redwoods. David’s work is featured in the newly released book The Man Who Planted Trees by Jim Robbins.

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, Where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized. (*Subject to certain rules and regulations)
Inside an ancient redwood tree with the Big Tree Man: An Appreciation of Oregon (video, photos)

I’ve been exchanging some exciting email with the Big Tree Man, David Milarch, recently. Milarch is the cofounder of Archangel Ancient Tree Archive. These folks are fascinated with champion trees. In fact they believe that big trees are our best bet against climate change because of the massive amounts of carbon the ancient trees can store.

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Video: Climbing and Cloning Sequoias

For almost two decades, the Archangel Ancient Tree Archive group has done what the experts said was impossible. Namely, they have taken DNA from over 70 of the most magnificent trees on the planet; have cloned thousands of individuals from this original DNA and are actively re-planting/re-foresting these champion trees. Thus, the organization is focused on the trees that are the world’s most fundamental to clean our water and air, and that capture and store the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide to make the most progress in preventing the worst effects of global warming.

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Planting of champion redwood in Whakarewarewa Forest

Rotorua District Council hosted The Tree Lab team on behalf of the non-profit Archangel Ancient Tree Archive today as they planted giant redwood seedlings in the Whakarewarewa Forest.

The Archangel project’s mission is to propagate champion trees of the world before they are gone - the largest and hardiest species that will grow to more than 500 years - and create a ‘Noah’s Ark’ of tree genetics. The team has successfully propagated some the world’s oldest trees, including giant redwoods and sequoias.

RDC Redwoods Forest & Visitor Centre manager Julianne Wilkinson said today’s event was the first planting of a champion redwood in the southern hemisphere, and was a great way to lead into Conservation Week activities beginning 8 September.

“When I was approached by Jenny Aitken from local business The Tree Lab and asked if Council would support the Archangel Project by providing space to plant a few giant redwoods, I thought why not?

"Instead of using a seed, a cutting is taken from the tree, tissue cultured, and then planted. As I’ve learnt more about the project I’ve become intrigued and more supportive of this fantastic initiative - it really makes sense. By planting a few of the world’s champion tree species we can help in a small way to restore the health of our planet.”

Mrs Wilkinson said if more organisations around New Zealand joined together to support the Archangel Project, it will help create a living DNA library of trees that have survived for hundreds of years.

“This will grow to help address current issues like biodiversity and climatic events. It’s a world-leading project and with old stands of giant redwoods currently under threat by forest fires in America, this project has now become all the more important.”

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The Man Who Planted Trees

Twenty years ago, Archangel Ancient Tree Archive co-founder David Milarch, a northern Michigan nurseryman with a penchant for hard living, had a vision: angels came to tell him that the earth was in trouble. Its trees were dying, and without them, human life was in jeopardy. The solution, they told him, was to clone the champion trees of the world—the largest, the hardiest, the ones that had survived millennia and were most resilient to climate change—and create a kind of Noah’s ark of tree genetics. Without knowing if the message had any basis in science, or why he’d been chosen for this task, Milarch began his mission of cloning the world’s great trees. Many scientists and tree experts told him it couldn’t be done, but, twenty years later, his team has successfully cloned some of the world’s oldest trees—among them giant redwoods and sequoias. They have also grown seedlings from the oldest tree in the world, the bristlecone pine Methuselah.

When New York Times journalist Jim Robbins came upon Milarch’s story, he was fascinated but had his doubts. Yet over several years, listening to Milarch and talking to scientists, he came to realize that there is so much we do not yet know about what trees do: how they die, how they communicate, the myriad crucial ways they filter water and air and otherwise support life on Earth. It became clear that as the planet changes, trees and forest are essential to assuring its survival, and planting them is a viable climate change solution. The Man Who Planted Trees is a fascinating investigation into the world of trees, the inspiring story of one man’s quest to help save the planet, and offers a solution to global warming.  This book’s hopeful message of what one man can accomplish against all odds is also a lesson about how each of us has the ability to make a difference.