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Arborists Have Cloned Ancient Redwoods from Their Massive Stumps (yale.edu)
324 points by jomaorfe 7 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 115 comments





“Cloning” here seems the wrong (click-batey) choice of words.

They have horticulturally propagated redwood trees - that’s a relatively simple technique, commonly used by your average gardener.

What’s special here is that they found which conditions maximize the yield of the redwoods propagation and they are planting colonies of the new trees in areas around the world that offer particularly good/promising climatic conditions.

As these are very large trees, establishing large colonies can have a relatively meaningful impact in carbon capture.


A plant grown from a cutting is indeed a clone. It is the actual tissue of the original plant, just grown out. Same DNA as the original plant. Only, you use clever techniques to stimulate undifferentiated cells to produce roots.

One of the linked articles, however, shows plants growing in little plastic jars. This looks like "tissue culture", which takes a plant cell sample and causes it to grow in a culture medium. But, still, it's cells from the parent plant grown out.


Exactly. There are many ways plants and even animals reproduce that result in genetically identical offspring and this is generally referred to as cloning.

For bacteria this is usually the normal way of reproducing but it happens in animals like famously sharks. But it happens in chickens, turkeys, reptiles, snakes.

There's also a cool intermediate form, like with plants. Trees and flowers are of course famously both male and female, but usually require sex to reproduce (sex in the sense of contact between male and female reproductive organs, through insects mostly)

There's even controversy because the list of animals that haven't been caught cloning themselves has been growing shorter and shorter over the past 30 years. But of course as soon as anyone points out "given this long list of animals where females can clone themselves, isn't it pretty likely humans do this as well, on occasion", everyone loses their minds (and no, the Jesus argument makes no sense: of course a natural clone is always female).


"As these are very large trees, establishing large colonies can have a relatively meaningful impact in carbon capture."

Maybe ...

I live on a ranch where redwoods grow and I was interested in reforesting some of it in an attempt to offset the carbon emissions of my family, etc.

My very rough back of the envelope calculations suggested that planting 40 coast redwoods would offset the embedded carbon (carbon cost to manufacture) of a pickup truck and its ten year expected fuel use. I chose a pickup truck as a sort-of-worst-case-scenario.

This is workable and we've already started this project, but of course we have three cars so the number is 120 trees for a single family.

I'm not sure how well that scales. Not everyone lives in redwood climate and not everyone has ~20 acres of leftover scrub woods to reforest.[1]

ALSO, and this has been a challenge, those back of the envelope calculations do not take into account the carbon cost of creating the trees in the first place. It seems like a rounding error, and I hope it is, but planting 40 trees involves a bunch of driving around and some earth moving and usually a chainsaw has to come out at some point and then we're buying supplies from a hardware store which were driven there by a truck .... and on and on and on ...

[1] This land was originally redwoods and douglas firs but was denuded of all large trees sometime before WW2 and is now a scrubby mess of bay trees and dying (SOD) oak trees. Planting redwoods is a return to the original landscape...


You might also consider that the vast majority of the offset provided by those trees is in the 9th, 10th years of them being planted. The 20th-30th years for those same trees may be offsetting substantially more (site dependencies not withstanding, etc..).

This usage of the word "cloning" is widespread in the horticultural community, and it's indeed used by your average garden as well.

Yep, even the act of rooting stem cuttings is often referred to as "cloning".

Plants are just a hell of a lot easier to clone than animals.

One of the reasons, there is always some murderous gardener lurking by the greenhouse door, when you visit any botanic garden.

Green thumpers are notorious for taking samples - even from forbidden fruits to grow them at home.


I believe the original meaning of cloning was indeed to grow a plant or a tree from a cutting and such plants are identical to the original — this term is still used in gardening.

Clone is from the Greek klōn, for "twig".

> As these are very large trees, establishing large colonies can have a relatively meaningful impact in carbon capture.

Also, they're fast growing, so they capture carbon quickly, and store it for a long time. Plus the fact that, if they're harvested, the wood is relatively rot-resistant. So carbon could be stored over even longer periods, if the wood were used for ~permanent structures.

Still, there's something ironic about that way of thinking. Or at least, something anthrocentric. I recall seeing a huge tree in ~coastal Washington, perhaps this Sitka Spruce.[0] And I recall a large sign, which explained how much could be built with it. Arguably the same attitude, but with different goals. Funny.

0) https://www.americanforests.org/big-trees/sitka-spruce-picea...


So if I'm understanding this correctly, we're essentially terraforming Earth...

The only human activity so far on a large enough scale to impact the biosphere as a whole is fossil fuel use. If you want to count that as "terraforming."

We could add nuclear weapons to that list, if we ever decided to use them.


> The only human activity so far on a large enough scale to impact the biosphere as a whole is fossil fuel use. If you want to count that as "terraforming."

I must be misunderstanding you; the majority of places in the world today are radically different than they were pre-human. That seems pretty inarguable.


It's death by a thousand cuts though. A bunch of localized effects that add up. That's not "terraforming." No one thing has impacted the entire planet except for fossil fuels. We dispersed a lot of lead globally in the mid 20th century, but that was also fossil fuel related. Plastic buildup in the ocean is also fossil fuel related. And of course the atmospheric changes.

The Romans also did a pretty good job with lead.

No, the changes in land use had significant and detectable impacts far before that. The albedo change between forest and fields alone is quite large.

Yeah. The North American "indigenous peoples"[0] transformed huge areas of the Midwest from savannah and sparse forest to open prairie. Basically, they burned every spring. It improved habitat for their game of choice, and made hunting them more convenient.

0) Rather, the first known settlers. But then humans have arguably been settlers everywhere, except for particular parts of Africa.


These are all localized effects. A lot of localized effects can add up to global changes, but they're not the same thing. Terraforming implies global changes.

Yes, we've been "terraforming" it. But not in a way that's good for us, I think. Not to mention all the other species that have evolved for pre-human conditions. And have increasingly experiencing conditions for which they're not well adapted. Worse, conditions that have been changing far too fast for evolutionary adaptation. Or even mass migration. So they're getting screwed. What we're now calling the Anthropocene Extinction Event.

So perhaps "terraforming" isn't the appropriate term. Maybe more like "un-terraforming". If CO2 goes runaway enough, we might even wipe out enough photosynthetic capacity (especially in the oceans) to undo the Great Oxygenation Event. And make the planet safe for anaerobes again.


We have been clear cutting for centuries, we have to learn sooner or later. You know, for when we leave this world polluted to terraform the new one. /s?

I deeply hope that the redwoods of marin county can be restored. The redwood forests of marin are still beautiful, but humans decimated them over the lasr 200 years, and we cant really understand just how magnificent those trees were in the past - trunk diameters of 30+ feet were common in the past.

It might have also been this one: http://www.oregonphotos.com/Sitka-Spruce.html

-- it was destroyed by a windstorm in 2007, but I believe it did have such a sign before that. Probably all of the "worlds biggest" trees do.


Yes, it was that one. Thanks.

I sort of remember that it was in Oregon, but doubted myself when I found the one in Washington.


> As these are very large trees, establishing large colonies can have a relatively meaningful impact in carbon capture.

Depends on how you define meaningful.

Worldwide, the total sequestered carbon in plants is equal to about 10 years of human emissions (~45yrs if we are talking net emissions).

If you increase the biomass by a percent or two, you basically buy yourself a few months emissions. Eventually that carbon is going to end up back in the atmosphere, too, but that at least is time shifted out by a few hundred years.

(source: I'm part of a Climate&Energy research group, though this particular subtopic is not my specialty)


> As these are very large trees, establishing large colonies can have a relatively meaningful impact in carbon capture.

Surely it's not size but speed of growth that matters? Wouldn't forests of Leylandii (a fast-growing conifer that can grow as fast as 1m/year) felled and resowed every few years/decades capture more carbon?


I guess it matters a lot what happens to the grown out wood as well. If it's burned after cutting it down, you're back to zero for that particular tree. So assuming you're not storing large amounts of cut-down wood, the relevant metric is amount of bound carbon per surface area, and I think larger trees might have a higher density (in the long run) than smaller ones.

Coastal redwood lives for a looong time, up to 3000 years. All that carbon is eventually going to go back to the atmosphere one way or another, but the time scale looks long enough to keep some carbon safely sequestered until after we've figured out how to live in harmony with our planet -- assuming we don't manage to kill all the trees in the meantime.

No - a large tree grows at lower rates, but puts on much more mass (sequesters much more carbon) per year.

edit: see figure 6 in https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal..., for example. And http://science.time.com/2014/01/15/study-shows-older-trees-a... (https://www.nature.com/articles/nature12914) specifically for redwoods. Key quote: "at the extreme, a single big tree can add the same amount of carbon to the forest within a year as is contained in an entire mid-sized tree"


But clones are not the right way, because genetic variability is zero and is easy to obtain and germinate seeds that make a better root system.

Found this googling

>Coast redwoods can grow three to ten feet per year.

pretty impressive!


This technique, taking cuttings is surely a form of cloning?

Where and when can I buy one?

Look, this is one of those cool cases where the free market may be able to help the environment instead of harming it. Sell these seedlings for $200/each. Some number of people (myself included) will happily buy them, then plant them wherever and the world has more of these amazing trees. The funds can be used to further the cause of helping forests and old trees.


You can currently purchase redwood seeds online to grow yourself! Plant them in peat moss in large groups to be sure they survive, as most seeds are not viable. Keep them warm until they germinate, too!

However, redwoods are really, really destructive anywhere that isn't a wide open field. Their roots will tear up concrete and pipes. Also, they shed branches like crazy during rapid growth, which deals damage to surrounding structures or flora.

Just something to keep in mind! If you have space and they won't be a danger to current inhabitants of the area, go for it.


Found them to be difficult to grow. Average dry flat air is not good, to wet and they rot. Need water spray regularly.

Yes, coast redwoods grow where there’s plenty of ocean influence. Hence the name..

I couldn't agree with this more. Living in the midwest though I'm sure these tree's won't be able to live here. That being said I'd love to see a list of trees that work well as carbon sinks for other geographic area's.

Any tree will be a carbon sink, some just grow faster than others. I'm pretty sure the Arbor Day Foundation can tell you which trees to plant in your particular locality.

Don't focus too much on the "amazing" part, because they're still going to start out as saplings and take time to grow. What makes them impressive when you see them in person is that the ones you're looking at have been growing for >1000 years - the much younger ones all around those are much less impressive, though apparently some can reach 30 feet in ~10 years.

They may also have some requirements to thrive that aren't that common - IIRC, giant sequoias mostly grow in a fairly thin layer of dirt on top of rock, which means there's also quite a bit of water (slowly) flowing through that dirt since there's noplace for it to go. Not sure how much of that applies to the coastal redwoods being discussed here (they're related, and the common and genus names are confusing - these redwoods are genus Sequoia, but the giant sequoia are actually a different genus).

There's a fair amount of information online about growing either from seed or via cuttings. One key piece of advice: plan for that growth and don't plant within 10m of structures that you're going to want to keep long-term.


I went to a planting a few years ago put on by this same group in Ann Arbor, MI at the Nichols Arboretum [0]. It was pretty inspiring to see a real living clone and hear David Milarch speak about the science and art of cloning these old growth trees. IIRC, the clones planted in Ann Arbor are from one of the Giant Sequoias at [1] in northern MI.

[0] http://sustainability.umich.edu/events/sequoia-planting [1] https://www.michigan.org/property/lake-bluff-bird-sanctuary


I had ego death from 1/4 of mushrooms in that amazing place many years ago. Such a beautiful little area that will be with me until I die.

Huh, can say the same actually.

Small world.


Fun fact: Metasequoia are in New York City and New Jersey. Around the five boroughs are 100 year old, towering Dawn redwood! I have even seen full grown trees in Cresskill, NJ. Recently, a two year art exhibit in Brooklyn [1] concluded that used more than four thousand live, baby Metasequoia. All of the trees have since found new homes, but I am unsure where the recipients are.

I now have a baby Metasequoia growing in the corner of my front lawn. The tree was a gift from the owner of the tree farm that supplied the Dawn redwood for the exhibit.

[1] https://www.publicartfund.org/view/exhibitions/6126_spencer_...


Thank you. Another surprising redwood tree is in the "Rieterpark" in central Zurich.

And further down the lake of Zurich was this one planted in 1860:

https://www.google.com/maps/@47.2305482,8.6713386,3a,60y,287...


This species of tree grows all over Northern Coastal California and there huge preserved areas of old growth trees throughout the region. It is great to keep replanting coastal redwoods to help replace all the ones that were cut down, but this cloning of gigantic old stumps sure feels like a pure propaganda move with no ecological benefit over using seeds. It is likely a bad idea to plant a lot of clones of single individuals, especially in concentrated areas next to each other.

Except the trees that were used for cloning have a proven track record of being able to survive for hundreds of years (“some of which were 3,000 years old”).

It would be highly unlikely that the seeds aren't also capable doing that.

Right. But the clones were made from stumps, not from seed-bearing trees.

And even if you used seeds from “old trees”, there would be no guarantee that the entire genome in the seed originated from “old trees”, or that the relevant genes responsible for “getting old” are expressed to the same extend as in the old tree stumps.

I'm all for genetic diversity, but I think the researchers have a point when they use living cells from provably very, very old trees to establish new trees. Even if you took seeds that were known to have a genome originating from one or two “old trees” there would be significant genetic variation in the seeds, and it would take centuries before we know if a plant from a given seed has what it takes to become as old as its parent(s).


Sure. But there are thousands and thousands of really big, old redwood trees that are growing today. It cool and all to clone the biggest old stumps. But they are likely the biggest because they were growing in very good locations. I would say taking almost as big trees from less ideal locations growing today have even a better chance of getting really old and big.

My point is that the stump thing is for marketing to an unknowing public, not based on trying to find the redwood tree genomes that will grow the oldest trees. I was trying to help public be a bit less unknowing on the subject.


For some plants, there is a great variance in behavior between the parent plant and a plant grown from seed.

Apples for instance, if grown from seed, likely will not carry all the properties of the parent plant. E.g., the fruit will not taste the same.

Apple trees mostly have desirable fruit bearing tissue grafted onto plain understock.

Also, some plants show different growth characteristics in mature tissue than in young tissue, but I don't know if that applies to the redwoods.


The plants you are thinking of are F1 hybrids. Obviously wild trees are by definition not F1 hybrids.

The first sentence of the article mentions the saplings have been taken from multiple sources (five different stumps), which means there's probably some genetic variation amongst the saplings.

Nitpick:

> ...some of the world’s oldest and largest coast redwoods, some of which were 3,000 years old... > a nonprofit working to reestablish ancient redwood forests to help combat climate change. Coastal redwoods, which can grow an average 10 feet per year, sequester 250 tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere over their lives, compared to 1 ton for an average tree.

Yes, but over <3000 years, so the comparison doesn't tell anything without knowing the lifespan of an "average tree".

Not that it matters though, the achievement is great, and I hope this helps us return many species that went extinct only because they had the misfortune to exist at the same time as humans.


This isn't the Wooly Mammoth. My impression is we already have the same species of Redwoods living today, they just need a lot more years of growth to reach such epic proportions.

Am I missing something?


I wonder the same; did they 'clone' the tree, or just propagate the saplings? I think the latter is a lot more believable and less clickbait.

The article specifies that they took cuttings, a pretty ancient technology. But the fact that the technology is old doesn't mean it's not cloning. Plants are easy to clone.

It says “DNA” and “genetic material”, while also talking about finding living tissue and growing from it. I think the presentation is either misleading or confusing.

It’s a tissue culture. The result is an exact clone of the tissue doner. They didn’t get Dino DNA from amber but a clones a clone.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plant_tissue_culture


Thank you, though I do understand. I’m saying that the article’s repeated mention of DNA is misleading, since it’s not being directly used by humans.

Sadly a lot of our forest eco-systems, especially in CA are at risk. Drought, poor forest management, bark beattle, over forestation, etc. Were forestry practices 100+ years ago good, not really - a lot of these ancient trees spawned eco-systems in themselves (evident in the Headwaters groves).

That said, modern "do nothing" approaches pushed by environmental "concerns" are the exact opposite of the over-logging. Sadly, no middle-ground was approched with towns that relied on sustainable logging and good forest management practices. I don't ever recall a conversation about such happening.

The recent debacles with PG&E? They are highly to blame for funneling "maintenance money" to their parent corporation for profits. However, in California, the National Forests vary greatly in their management practices as well. Plumas is pretty good at cleaning duff, downed trees, etc. Some of the others, not at all.

During the Detweiller and related fires, PG&E was offering to work with the NPS around Yosemite to clear dead trees due to bark beattle. NPS said no. Why? It would ruin the ambiance (of dead brown trees).

Drought, the beattle, etc. cause a number of issues for our forests in CA. However, management practices and hinderances due to some over reactions in environmental policy are jsut as bad.


Can you explain what's wrong with the "do nothing" approach?

It seems to me to be the most natural and clearly the cheapest too.

Perhaps simple steps like putting up fences or signs saying 'nature reserve, keep out" might be worthwhile, but I don't see how any more invasive steps will lead to a more natural forest.


Death is the natural outcome of heart attacks, but you don’t seem to apply your logic to what hospitals do. There’s no a priori reason to believe the “natural” outcome is a good outcome.

Large wildfires are natural, like heart attacks. If we want to let nature be nature, we need to stay well clear, put up defined firebreaks, and let the forest burn down everything next to it periodically. And then accept half or more of certain states will be clouded in smoke some years.

Since people generally seem unwilling to do that, and live next to the forest, or just don’t like smokey cities, the next choice is to manage the forest and minimize the intensity of forest fires while having some control over the timing through managed burns. This has side benefits like increasing the air quality across the whole state, because you never get these giant fires.

The worst outcome seems to be having people live next to the forest while doing nothing, because we periodically have random disasters and financial messes.


Because massive blazes are part of nature too and people yell for theire overgrown backyards to be protected by firefighters from their own Disney enviromentalistic stupidity. Finally.. You can not have half a nature. In nature various ecosystems battle one another for light and resources. Forrest fights savannah. Without all the foot soldiers (massive bison numbers etc. this half nature grows unchecked to the absolut limit of burnable material. Either humans replace animal roles and restore a healthy state or the neighborhood gets bbqued once every season

Global warming is a likely suspect for changes in the insect ecology that happen faster than any forest can adapt, such as beatle infestation. Some species may profit by, for example, surviving winters that would usually kill them in large numbers. Even more species might suffer, either because they are eaten by the former, or because their lifecycle may require harsh winters.

Of course other factors than just temperature are swinging widely: California is probably drier than before. Increased winds may make fires more likely etc.

Other natural phenomena also don’t respect entry bans: invasive species come to mind, and so does pollution.

I don’t claim to know if interventions are helpful, nor if they could ever be helpful enough to make a real difference. And of course nature will survive, and even forests may eventually adapt to the new regime. But of course the knowledge that there will again be a forest in that location in a millennium or three is of little help to someone who wants to show their grandchildren an old-growth first.


Part of the reason we see such extremes in forests now is how we treated them in the past (and still do, in terms of putting out small fires that should clear fuel without causing total destruction). Why not provide some management now to help them moderate again?

Large, devastating fires can be prevented by clearing out fuel and doing smaller controlled burns.

Are any of those issues comparable to cutting all the trees down? Fires and beatles and dead wood are natural.

For the beetles in particular, they're only natural inasmuch as logging is natural. The beetles are able to survive because of human activity. Logging is just as natural, because it's done by humans, which are a natural species.

We have to have some common sense boundaries on what is or is not natural for the term to have any usefulness in environmental discussions. In this case, the beetles are unnatural and invasive. Moreover, they're harmful in that they kill trees more quickly than the forest is equipped to handle.


Japanese beetles are not native to the area and wipe out hundreds of thousands of acres at a time. Then it is a tinder box.

Drive Sonora pass sometime and look "south". So much dead forest. That isn't particularly natural.

No it is not.

The fact that you would need to do dead tree removal is a sign that something is wrong. A natural, thriving forest should not need such measures.

I don't think a lot of imagination is needed to come up with the reason why we see these changes. It will only get worse before it gets better.


I think the problem is not just lack of dead tree removal but rather the combination of fire suppression AND lack of dead tree removal. Also of course, the encroachment into the forest by development / housing. A "natural, thriving forest" has regular fires but that isn't compatible with human housing / development.

I'm no expert, just what I've gathered from paying attention to the news.


Won't they have problems with the low genetic diversity the same way Cavendish bananas seem to be in problem now?

The redwood trees are still able to sexually reproduce with other variants, unlike the banana trees that are cultivated for crops.

The issue is that they appear to be establishing groves of genetically identical trees, so sexual reproduction is irrelevant. Unless you're planting next to an established forest.

The difference still lay in that the groves are still genetically different from each other, unlike bananas which are the same genetic organism planted on thousands of acres.

That does no good unless the groves are close enough to allow interbreeding. From what I understand they're trying to establish these groves all around the world, and most won't have any neighbors.

Total aside, but as an undergraduate, I was part of the school tissue culture club. We brought 'albino' redwoods into culture and made a pretty hefty profit selling carnivorous plants on Fridays.

We did a tour of a local redwood companies tissue culture lab, and almost all the employees were female, and a fair few had developed severe arthritis in their work. Was very depressing to see.


Would it be possible to automate tissue culture with precision robotics?

Totally. Especially considering that plants are a kind of biological machine which works to turn light into plant stuff. This means that how the plant interacts with light can tell you a-lot about the health and well being of the light. A pinch of machine vision, and you are pretty much there.

Thanks. Is this already being done? Or is it a tech waiting to be delivered?

I'm almost 100% convinced its already being done by private industry; you can do the vast majority of it w.out any ML/AI component. Biggest issue however is that it only makes sense on high margin plants.

See, as it turns out, plants already have this novel/ ingenious way of packaging the data required to make complete copies of into very discrete packages. They're called seeds, and in general, for the vast majority of cases, seeds which are often actually cheaper than dirt are just fine. Only when you have a plant that has certain characteristics (GMO in a non-hereditary trait etc..) does this make real sense.


That stump is sad reminder of greedy destruction we have bought to the world. I hope we can reverse it.

For anyone looking to offset their carbon emissions, I looked into the various options and settled on Cool Earth[0] as the most promising charity for this. Here's some commentary on them from independent research on charities[1]: "We estimate that Cool Earth is able to reduce emissions by 1 tonne of CO2-equivalent for every $1.34 donated, for directly protected forest specifically (although this figure may be as low as $0.65). If indirectly shielded forest is also included, this drops to $0.38 per tonne of CO2-equivalent. This is 25 times less expensive than most carbon offset providers, which typically reduce emissions by 1 tonne for roughly every $10 spent"

Having said that, it's even better to not produce the CO₂ in the first place of course.

[0] https://www.coolearth.org/

[1] https://www.givingwhatwecan.org/report/cool-earth/


"At this stage the information gathered doesn’t allow me to give a strong opinion on Cool Earth, but I would recommend that we now consider the earlier [Giving What We Can] analysis out of date."

https://forum.effectivealtruism.org/posts/RnmZ62kuuC8XzeTBq/...


Huh, thanks! Are there others you've looked into that were close to Cool Earth or is everyone else in a different league?

Sadly we are still at it at a rapid pace. Maybe not so much anymore with trees but we are decapping mountains for minerals and pumping toxic chemicals in the ground to extract oil/gas.

Let's not forget the horrendous speed we are destroying Amazon's rainforsests.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deforestation_of_the_Amazon_ra...


"we" are not doing that; if "we" did "we" could take responsibility and stop it. There's some very specific companies and governments we can point a finger at.

Consumers around the world are buying the wood and the palm oil that gets planted after the trees have been chopped down.

I've never been a fan of this sort of argument. If everyone decided to stop buying something, that still doesn't stop a regular batch of that thing being produced, or in this case it doesn't stop them from cutting down the trees with the assumption that they will sell. If they don't sell well, they can't un-cut the trees.

How does that make any sense? If you keep buying something, they'll continue for ever. If you don't, they'll do it for a bit more and then stop. What kind of an argument is "they won't stop immediately, and stopping almost immediately is the same as never stopping at all"?

If you eat meat there's very high change that it has been fed by soy from Brazil.

The people that felled that tree for its essential raw materials did so under hardships and conditions thankfully many of us will never know, and not in small part due to the toil and labour of previous generations.

"It would have been the biggest tree alive today had it not been so ignominiously felled in 1890 – reputedly to satisfy a drunken bet about making a table big enough to seat 40 guests from a single slice of tree-trunk."

source: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/reborn-the-g...


That makes it sad and horrible.

That does not make it any better for us. Previous generations bought good and bad both and that's the legacy we have to live with or die. We just don't know yet.

My point was its pointless and borderline disrespectful to project modern standards of ethics and concepts of "greed" onto people of the past that had different norms and extreme hardships to contend with. By all means we should discuss what to do about our present predicament and plan for a better future, but we can do that without denigrating those that came before us for failing against an impossible modern standard.

You have got it backwards. These trees were not felled by individuals who were toiling to make a better tomorrow. On the contrary, greedy industralist made them toil and die for their profit. When Queen Victoria and her chronies were filling their pockets by looting the world, London was still a slum. Henry Mayhew documented this in his publication London Labour and the London Poor[1].

Things like 8 hour work week, health benefits etc were achived in blood.

[1]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/London_Labour_and_the_London_P...


This is a great thing that will pay increasingly high dividends for decades and centuries: https://www.nature.com/articles/nature12914

How is the CO2 capture for redwood (250t over 3000yrs per tree) compared with other trees ? Would be interesting to know if the lifecycle of those short lived trees (compared with redwood) have better efficiency regarding the carbon capture ...

Just seeing that stump makes me terribly sad for what has already been lost.

Many forested parts of the US were stripped bare 100 years ago. These will become old growth in time.

It is a heavy, frightening photograph, and an honest portrayal of homo sapiens.

I always wonder how grafting and budding were discovered.


Thanks for the link. I meant in a more narrative sense though. I like to imagine that some fool cut down a tree and changed his or her mind and tried to stick it back together and lo and behold it worked.

Unfortunately these clones are establishing monocultures that are unlikely to do well long term. You need some genetic diversity.

Redwoods commonly grow as clones in the wild: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sequoia_sempervirens#Reproduct...

Yes, but they're not all the same clones.

Wow! That is one big tree.

3000 years! Isn't mother nature amazing?!



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