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Conservationists clone massive redwood tree stumps to fight climate change

By CBC Radio

When David Milarch first learned about ancient coast redwood stumps hidden in California, he says he was "the most thunderstruck" he'd ever been. At about 10 metres in diameter, he'd never heard of any tree growing that big. Now the non-profit that Milarch co-founded is using genetic information from five massive tree stumps to help in the fight against climate change.

On Dec. 14, the Archangel Ancient Tree Archive planted 75 coast redwood saplings at Presidio, a park in San Francisco, that are exact clones of those stumps.

The story of these cloned plants goes years back, when the team started searching for the oldest and largest of the coast redwood species. "To try and find old growth redwoods, it isn't like people would picture in their minds — these giant forests of redwoods on the West Coast. We really had to do some searching high and low," Milarch told As It Happens host Carol Off.  He says 95 per cent of all redwoods have been cut down.

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Friday, December 21, 2018