by Peter Payette for The Environment Report
There’s a new book out today about an unusual conservation project based in northern Michigan. For most of the last two decades, a man from Copemish has been cloning old trees around the world. David Milarch believes the genetics of these trees are superior and could be useful in the era of climate change. The author of the book says he might have a point.
Back in the year 2000, an elm tree not far from David Milarch’s home was diagnosed with Dutch elm disease.
It was not just any elm.
It was the National Champion American elm at the time. That means it was the largest known elm in the country. Milarch tried to heal the tree with a soil treatment but it died. He did manage to clone the Buckley elm.
Today at the Archangel Ancient Tree Archive, there are about a dozen copies of the tree.
"Here’s the Buckley elm, the greatest elm in America. And it’s living on and it can be utilized. That’s really what it’s all about."