descended from a long line of Michigan nurserymen, where hard work
and communing with trees instilled a passion in him to see the Giant
Redwoods (Sequoia sempervirens) in California. Following graduation
from high school in the late 60's, he and a friend headed west on a
road trip to California. Muir Woods National Monument was #1 on
David's list of places to see.
Muir is home to the California Redwoods, boasting trees 2,000 years
old and reaching over 300 feet toward the sky. For David, the
grandeur of the remaining giants was dashed by the ongoing logging
operations in that vicinity. Only 240 acres of the ancient Sequoias
remained. This was in stark contrast to the 2-million acres of coast
Redwoods prior to 1830, when loggers discovered desirable trees for
valuable and marketable lumber. All told, the devastation of these
ancient forests eliminated 95 percent of the giants, creating lumber
barons in the path of destruction.
Man on a Mission
A few decades later, David Milarch had the vision to launch the
Champion Tree Project, to help
counter the vanishing forests of America. Beginning in Michigan, his
group took grafts from trees that were classified as National
Champions. Their work began with Ash, Elm and Maple, and eventually
spread to other states and tree species, including notable American
Holly, Ash, Hemlock, Mulberry, and Tulip Poplar planted by George
Washington at Mount Vernon.
Forest is home to Pennsylvania Giants
As the project gained traction it
was renamed the Archangel Ancient Tree Archive in 2008,
extending into 20 states as well as Australia, England, Germany,
Ireland and New Zealand.
In 2010, Milarch was finally able
to locate a grove of giant Redwoods where he could take cuttings,
something he had not been allowed to do previously in public
forests. On private land making up the Alder Creek Grove, the
landowner allowed members of the team to take cuttings from the
Stagg Tree (fifth largest tree in the world by volume) and the
Waterfall Tree (world champion measurement of 57 feet across
at the base). Following several disappointments, Milarch's team
finally had its first success growing Sequoia cuttings from the
TreeBoss visited the California Redwoods!
early-2014 the team embarked (no pun intended) on a 700 mile west
coast trip to plant 3,000 cloned seedlings for future generations to
enjoy. A TreeBoss shout-out to David Milarch and his
Archangel Ancient Tree Archive
The peril and
suffering caused by global warming is a result of the
human dismantling of the ecosystems that once filtered
our air and water. We are a Michigan-based non-profit
organization working on an urgent global mission to
replace the trees that once served as our environmental
filters. We collect, propagate and archive the genetics
of uniquely effective ancient Champion Trees from around
the globe, and are planting them to reforest the Earth.
Why Ancient Trees?