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Re: Cloning Ancient Trees

Posted: Thu Jan 30, 2014 1:22 pm
by eliahd24
Thanks for the update Bob. If the book is any indication, Milarch is not just cloning AF "champions", but other superlative trees he's told about as well. I'm in total agreement with Will on the problems that plagued the list for decades and I'm INCREDIBLY happy that you and Don are working to fix that. I guess my question is more of what NTSers think of tree cloning in general. Plus how y'all feel about the practice of "human assisted migration" of trees. It's all quite interesting to me.

Re: Cloning Ancient Trees

Posted: Fri Jan 31, 2014 2:41 pm
by Don
More simply put, is the quandary of 'nature versus nurture' much of a superlative tree's stature is due to its genetics, how much is due to the climatic, soil conditions, plant community associations and other features associated with the tree's growth site?

And is a tree superlative for its size (height, crown size, bole diameter), its age, its tenacity? Its BTUs? Its modulus of elasticity, resistance to tension and compression?

My own thoughts are similar to the value of mongrels among dog would appear that mixed breeds have a more diverse genetic potential than those who've been bred for human whims, if longevity and reproductive success are valued.

I have no problem with tree species moving up or down in elevation in response to climate change, they've done it prior to our awareness of it, perhaps they'll continue beyond our absence...our impatience is not likely to change the outcome much.

Our collective guilt might, though...

Re: Cloning Ancient Trees

Posted: Sat Mar 09, 2019 3:41 pm
by pattyjenkins1
There was an interview of David Milarch on NPR Radio this morning. ... ith-clones

Re: Cloning Ancient Trees

Posted: Sat Mar 09, 2019 4:00 pm
by mdvaden
pattyjenkins1 wrote:There was an interview of David Milarch on NPR Radio this morning. ... ith-clones
I haven't heard that interview, but if it's at all related to previous ideology, Milarch may not want a debate on this. I wouldn't want to debate him either, because I think they are good people. But a chunk of the premise for their marketing off kilter. One part skewed is the tall tale associated with a Fieldbrook Stump, from which some writers claim it was bigger than Sherman or any coast redwood today, and upwards of 400 ft. When in reality, the only historical evidence is a "cookie" proving 70 feet, height --- and narrow enough to denote it was smaller than today's largest coast redwoods. But as a business model, I think it's a cool tactic --- sort of like the Trees of Mystery amusement park.

To quote Will Blozan from months ago ... I concur ... The concept is flawed.
Will Blozan wrote:Brian,

I almost wholeheartedly disagree with this guy and his concept. It is flawed on so many levels and misses the point on many more. I am not saying it should not be done but the high-grading basis for his reforestation is misguided and myopic. Also, using the American Forest National Champion tree listing for the superlative specimens is a whole can of worms in itself. And how we know it!

The majority of the worlds forests past and present are/were not composed of superlative trees. Superlative trees are not the all exclusive best choice for all situations. It seems as though a naturally regenerating clear cut would do more carbon storage (at least in the short term?) and ecosystem benefit than off-site planted exotics. If carbon is the main issue trees are one answer but his route may not be the best. I'll add more as the discussion boils.


Re: Cloning Ancient Trees

Posted: Sat Mar 09, 2019 4:06 pm
by mdvaden
pattyjenkins1 wrote:There was an interview of David Milarch on NPR Radio this morning. ... ith-clones
PS ...

Part B to my previous reply. Here is a link to a blog post I wrote that partly dismantles part of the myth that surrounds some of the Archangel marketing and related news stories. ... -the-code/

I've covered bits and pieces on several of my web and blog pages over the past couple years. I think it's dandy that they try to get funds and plant trees, provided facts are kept within the boundary of reality.

I think writers interviewing them need to control themselves too, not to embellish beyond.

Re: Cloning Ancient Trees

Posted: Sun Mar 10, 2019 10:46 am
by dbhguru

I totally agree with you. Years ago, some of us in the ENTS had a running debate with associates of Milarch on the value of "cloning" the so-called national champions. They were going after anything that was proclaimed a national champion no matter what it looked like. It was during that period that we were trying to shame American Forests into upgrading the quality of the program. Our efforts eventually led to the Measuring-guidelines Working Group. Alas, I fear AF is slipping back into their old ways. A long story.