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Thread: Arborists are bringing the “dinosaur of trees” back to life

  1. #1
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    Default Arborists are bringing the “dinosaur of trees” back to life

    Imagine scientists reviving giant creatures that once roamed the Earth. Well, that’s what arborists are doing today, only they’re cloning saplings from the stumps of the world’s largest, strongest, and longest-lived trees—felled for timber more than a century ago—to create redwood “super groves” that can help fight climate change.

    “Most redwoods don’t live to be 1,000 years old, and only two to three percent live to be 2,000 to 3,000 years old,” says David Milarch, founder of the Archangel Ancient Tree Archive, a US nonprofit that propagates the world’s largest trees. “We’re looking for the biggest, oldest trees with the strongest immune systems who can survive in current climate conditions. We know something is special about them.”

    Using saplings made from the basal sprouts of these super trees to plant new groves in temperate countries around the world means the growths have a better chance than most to become giants themselves. Their ancestors grew up to 400 ft (122 m) tall and to 35 ft in diameter, after all, larger than the largest living redwood today, a giant sequoia in California’s Sequoia National Park.

    Already, super saplings from the project are thriving in groves in Canada, England, Wales, France, New Zealand, and Australia. None of these locales are places where coastal redwoods grow naturally, but they all have cool temperatures and sufficient fog for the redwoods, which drink moisture from the air in summer rather than relying on rain. Milarch calls this “assisted migration.”

    Last month, his organization planted another such grove in the Presidio in San Francisco, California. The park lies along the US west’s redwood corridor, which runs from Oregon to California, home to the stumps the saplings were cloned from. But 95% of giant growths there were cut long ago. Many of the redwoods along the corridor now are young trees. Milarch notes that as the local climate is getting hotter and less foggy, it’s no longer as conducive to producing the mega growths of yore.

    Now, 75 saplings created from the basal sprouts of the most rugged and massive ancient tree stumps of the coastal region will grow in the Presidio. They may eventually become the hardiest and tallest trees around, if their ancestors are any indication.

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Arborists are bringing the “dinosaur of trees” back to life

    Yay!
    Gerard>
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Arborists are bringing the “dinosaur of trees” back to life

    Just imagine if the English had seen those trees when they were still building wooden ships!

    Seriously, I will be glad to see a new crop of redwoods growing. We have killed off too many species already, lets at least save one
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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Arborists are bringing the “dinosaur of trees” back to life

    Then there's the Wollemi Pine

    http://www.wollemipine.com/aboutwp.php
    http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...-Wollemi-Pines

    They grow quite well on the coast here.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Arborists are bringing the “dinosaur of trees” back to life

    I'm glad they can revive the species-not sure about the wisdom of sending them off to other areas.I think most of us can think of foreign species which have run riot when introduced to an alien environment.Asian carp and Japanese knotweed for two examples.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Arborists are bringing the “dinosaur of trees” back to life

    Sometime in the 90's there was a blurb in WB mag about old dock pilings being found in London with some impressive dimensions, like 24" x 24" x 40 feet IIRC.

    How big an oak tree does that imply?
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Arborists are bringing the “dinosaur of trees” back to life

    Quote Originally Posted by John Meachen View Post
    I'm glad they can revive the species-not sure about the wisdom of sending them off to other areas.I think most of us can think of foreign species which have run riot when introduced to an alien environment.Asian carp and Japanese knotweed for two examples.
    Plenty of Coast Redwood and Giant Redwood [Wellingtonia] in the UK already. Our local champion redwood was planted around mid 1850s - shortly after transplants were imported. I measured it at 43m 8 years ago- small by US standards but pretty impressive for 150 years of growth
    Yma o hyd

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    Default Re: Arborists are bringing the “dinosaur of trees” back to life

    Good stuff!
    Nothing else matters but how I raise my children ... and their opinion of me, as a father.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Arborists are bringing the “dinosaur of trees” back to life

    Quote Originally Posted by Osborne Russell View Post
    Sometime in the 90's there was a blurb in WB mag about old dock pilings being found in London with some impressive dimensions, like 24" x 24" x 40 feet IIRC.

    How big an oak tree does that imply?
    I've been offered a slab to do a table in my restaurant that is over 8 metres long, about 1.8m wide and 200mm thick. Rosewood. It ain't cheap. I am tempted... but it'd be a bitch to move.
    "Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome and charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime" Mark Twain... so... Carpe the living sh!t out of the Diem

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Arborists are bringing the “dinosaur of trees” back to life

    Surely the dinosaur of trees is Gingko biloba, unchanged for millions of years. They are talking about Methuselas of trees, exceptionally long lived specimens.
    Redwoods are a poor candidate for a destructive, invasive species. Australia has a whole system of classifying the negative potential of exotic species. They are slow growing, slow reproducing, and they rely on being in large stands of conspecifics. I think they have so much windage, that they need the intertwined roots and wind break of lots of buddies to survive. They do tend to shade out a lot of other plant species, though

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Arborists are bringing the “dinosaur of trees” back to life

    Yeah. One man's " assisted migrant," ( quoting the article) is another's invasive species.

    Kevin
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