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Joe Aiken of Arborjet is helping save redwoods by climbing one tree at a time

One of Arborjet’s own, Joe Aiken, also known as “Arborjet Joe” is joining forces with the Archangel Ancient Tree Archive and Bartlett Arborist Supply in their efforts to propagate Giant Sequoia and Coastal Redwood trees in California. With nearly 95 percent of old growth Coastal Redwoods having been lost over the years, Aiken, Arborjet’s Great Lakes Regional Technical Manager, is donating his time to this important cause to promote new tree growth for future generations.

Redwood trees are among the oldest living trees on the planet and those remaining are being threatened by global warming and human activity. On May 19, together with Archangel Ancient Tree Archive and Bartlett Arborist Supply, Aiken will spend 10 days climbing Giant Sequoias and Coastal Redwoods as tall as 379 feet to harvest tissue to propagate phloem and grow trees. The seedlings will then be propagated and spread around the world to reestablish Redwood and Sequoia forests.

“This is a great opportunity and falls into the philosophical approach of what Arborjet is all about, tree preservation and a safer alternative for plant health care than what is currently available,” said Aiken. “We are spending our own money, time and energy to do this for the benefit of these trees and to spread the word about this incredible non-profit organization.”

Collecting the pine cones from the forest floor is not the best way to propogate the seeds of these Redwood and Sequoia trees. Climbing the trees to access the new growth at the top is critical to propogating the right tissues for cloning, as the new growth tissue contains the true DNA of the tree. One tip cutting harvested from a tree can be propogated to clone as many as one million trees.

The May 19 mission is the brainchild of Archangel Ancient Tree Archive, a nonprofit organization dedicated to collecting, cloning, and archiving the genetics of the most important old growth trees before they are gone.

“Reforesting the earth with the offspring of these trees provides a myriad of beneficial ecosystem services essential for all life forms to thrive,” said Jake Milarch, founder, Archangel Ancient Tree Archive. “Perhaps most importantly, this work is essentially a global warming solution to preserve a livable future for our children and our grandchildren.”


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