'Growing your Awe'
of Champion trees

David Milarch 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.


(Tree) 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.

Cook Forest is home to Pennsylvania Giants
Cook Forest is home to Giant Hemlocks and White Pines

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 Waterfall Tree.

California Redwoods
September 2015
TreeBoss visited the California Redwoods!

In 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 dedicated team!

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?


Archangel Ancient Tree Archive

Preserving Trees

Trees with Anomalies


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