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Ancient Redwoods Planted in the Presidio

Two volunteers digging a hole for the redwood sapling that is sitting in a container beside them
Volunteers planting coast redwood saplings in the Thomas Redwoods Grove reforestation site in the Presidio of San Francisco.

Rob Lovato and Victor Aquino

December 2018 - The Presidio Trust and guests from the Archangel Ancient Tree Archive planted 75 redwood saplings in the Presidio of San Francisco on December 14th.

The special saplings are coast redwoods, the world's tallest trees. They are also clones from ancient specimens, donated for this effort. The Archangels worked with professors at the University of California, Berkeley and elsewhere to clone live basal sprouts from the stumps of heirloom trees. Some, like the Barrett and Fieldbrook stumps, are remnants of mature trees that first germinated over 3,000 years ago but are now nearly extinct. The Fieldbrook stump, for example, is all that remains of a giant redwood located near McKinleyville, California. At almost 35 feet in diameter, it may be one of the largest coast redwoods ever known.

These 75 trees joined the existing Thomas Redwoods Grove, a reforestation site in the Presidio. Over 40 volunteers helped with the planting during the Trust’s weekly Forest Stewards volunteer program, which re-forests areas where old and dying trees have been removed. The Thomas Redwoods Grove is one of several redwood stands in the Presidio. The oldest were planted more than 80 years ago. A larger stand by the Ecology Trail was planted in the late 1940’s.

The reforestation effort is part of the Presidio’s mission to keep its forests healthy, preserve the character of its landscapes, and increase biodiversity. It will also help the park combat climate change. On average, redwood forests store 2,600 metric tons of carbon per hectare (2.4 acres). That is more than double the absorption rate of the Pacific Northwest’s conifer trees or Australia’s eucalyptus forests. The main reason redwoods surpass all others in carbon storage is their longevity.

Two people standing side by side holding a redwood sapling still in its container
Archangel’s Joseph Sandri and Presidio Trust CEO Jean Fraser prepare to plant a coast redwood sapling.

Rob Lovato and Victor Aquino

About the Archangel Ancient Tree Archive

The mission is to Propagate the world’s most important old growth trees before they are gone. Reforest the Earth with the offspring of these trees to provide the myriad of beneficial ecosystem services essential for all life forms to thrive. Trees are excellent at sequestering carbon dioxide, releasing oxygen, and providing beneficial aerosols and medicines. They are essentially a global warming solution. Archive the genetics of ancient trees in living libraries around the world for the future.

Last updated: February 14, 2019