Monday, April 22, 2013

Attack of the Clones

muir3274

This story combines both my favorite states for a great idea - if you're planting something in hopes of greening the world, might as well make it the biggest and the best. A family from Copemish, Michigan has been working since the 1990's on this project...

Ceremonial plantings of two dozen clones from California's mighty coastal redwoods were taking place Monday in seven nations: Australia, New Zealand, Great Britain, Ireland, Canada, Germany and the U.S.

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, 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."

Redwoods eat up carbon dioxide, so they are well-suited to use as an agent to help mitigate climate change. A bit of hope on this Earth Day.