Trees are important for life on Earth, but also just plain darn cool. The impressive redwood trees in California, New Zealand native Kauri trees, you name it. The bigger the better really. Massive trees are just impressive. We’ve all seen that photo of the redwood that has a tunnel drilled through it so cars can drive through its trunk? If not, look that up. The power of nature is incredible.
Super grove may sound like a plant-based superhero, but in real life, it’s even cooler. The endangered coast redwood has been gradually going extinct, so a non-profit group has stepped in to save the species. They have done this by taking DNA from ancient stumps like the one below.
These ancient trees were bigger than any alive today, meaning that the new saplings are “champion trees”. This means that they are the biggest of their species, although they’ll take some time to get there.
Coast redwood trees are an important part of the Californian ecosystem, as they remove up to 250 tons of CO2 from the air. They also filter the water in the soil and are largely resistant to wildfires.
“We’re excited to set the standard for environmental recovery,” said David Milarch. “These trees have the capacity to fight climate change and revitalize forests and our ecology in a way we haven’t seen before.”
The cloning process actually mimics how redwood groves reproduce in nature and preserves a genetic library. Some redwoods are thousands of years old. The Fieldbrook stump, pictured above, was 3,000 years old when settlers cut it down in 1890. It has yielded 20 saplings, and therefore its DNA and legacy will live on. Five other stumps have also cloned saplings.
“These saplings have extraordinary potential to purify our air, water and soil for generations to come,” Milarch said. “We hope this ‘super grove,’ which has the capability to become an eternal forest, is allowed to grow unmolested by manmade or natural disasters and thus propagate forever.”
Let us know what you think of this Jurassic Park-esque endeavor in the comments. Share with your family and friends if you’re impressed. You can check out similar stories on Happiest, like this one about a McDonalds for bees!