Scientists fight climate change by cloning sequoias and planting them farther north

sequoia clone climate change
CBS News

Devastating fires over the last three years in California have endangered the limited number of giant sequoias to the point where scientists are cloning the huge trees and planting them farther north where climate change may produce suitable growing conditions.

Preliminary surveys found that in a two year period, 2020 and 2021, almost 20 percent of all giant sequoias in their natural range over four feet in diameter were killed by fire (and neglect) or will die in the next few years. In 2020, 10 to 14 percent of the entire Sierra Nevada population of giant sequoia trees over 4 feet in diameter were killed in the Castle FireEarly estimates after two fires the following year, the KNP Complex and the Windy Fire, 2,261 to 3,637 sequoias over four feet in diameter were killed or will die within the next three to five years.

At this rate, with this climate, we could lose the rest of these massive trees in just a few years.

A team of expert horticulturists is using cloning technology to replant redwoods and sequoias and save their genetic material.

Typos, let us know HERE, and specify which article. Please keep in mind our commenting ground rules before you post a comment.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.

6 thoughts on “Scientists fight climate change by cloning sequoias and planting them farther north”

  1. Hmmm. Maybe they don’t live forever? Maybe we’ve loved them to death by trying to preserve them. A forest isn’t a museum; it regenerates, grows, gets old and sick and dies eventually. Hopefully they are also replanting the burned areas with Sequoia trees. I am skeptical of an accurate prediction of the weather and climate more than 10 days out.

  2. The Forest Service sure is knocking out of the park with their mission statement!!!

    “Sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the Nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations.”

    They have 25 people driving a desk and “supervising” every 1 person actually in the field. It’s no wonder they’re failing at this too. Inept Morons.

  3. I am wary of “experts,” especially horticulturists with (dis?)respect to ecology. Why clones and not seeds? Is not genetic diversity important in establishing new stands? Is the driving reason supported by evidence or presumption? To get grants, one must employ the slang-du jour, no?

  4. These folks are not using any genetic engineering technology to “clone” their trees. They’re using the same rooting hormone technique I learned in Botany 101 over 40 years ago. Take a cutting from actively growing (meristematic) tissues, such as the ends of new branches, dip the cutting in rooting hormone, such as indole butyric acid (IBA), then plant in a greenhouse pot. That this is newsworthy is testament to Archangel’s marketing and journalists’ gullibility and lack of science education.

  5. My Botany 101 professor (in 1956) was ecology-minded, not horticulture-minded. What’s wrong with seeds? It would be interesting to compare the root systems of seed-planted vs cuttings for form, depth of penetration, etc. I have found that, with most trees, seed-planting works better and is cheaper. Nonetheless, the objective should be optimal plant- (including root-) development.

    Why are clones important? It seems like putting all of the genetic eggs in one basket. At the very least, shouldn’t any cuttings come from several individuals to maintain diversity? Oh, yeah, come to think of it, I’ve plumb forgotten to follow the money. And the nest parasite, the yellow-bellied grantsucker . . . not to mention the windfall profits from production.

What do you think?