1000 Redwoods Project, 2021-2022
The 1000 REDWOODS Project began as a dream—a vision of multiple “demonstration” redwood forests growing in Washington to show how the Pacific Northwest environment can support these trees and how quickly redwoods can grow. We wanted to build a groundswell of interest in the public by involving others, especially young people, in accomplishing this goal and inspiring them to pass the baton on to future generations.
In October 2020, 300 giant sequoia seedlings and 1,000 coast redwood seedlings were sent to Olympia from Michigan’s Archangel Ancient Tree Archive. Bob Barnes, with years of experience as a landscape architect for the Washington Department of Transportation, took charge of repotting the seedlings into larger pots in his Olympia-based nursery and nurtured the trees over the following nine months. The saplings exploded in size, as you can see below!
2020 – Original Archangel Seedlings
2021 – Trees after spending 9 months in Bob Barnes’s nursery
In autumn of 2021, it was time for planting—and there were a lot of trees to plant. A team of experienced planters was assembled, including Barnes and two longtime friends, Dave Pearsall and Ralph Munro, who joined with PropagationNation founder Philip Stielstra to form the 1000 REDWOODS project team.
A challenging task
Getting all of the trees to the right people and organizations that could plant and care for a demonstration redwood forest was daunting at first. But the team members were united by a reverence for the trees—as well as the understanding that there were plenty of folks and organizations out there that wanted the trees. It was just a matter of getting them into the right hands. So the team got to work reaching out to private landowners, park districts, land trusts, tribes, and conservation districts, all invited to become part of the PropagationNation community.
Over 500 redwoods and sequoias were delivered to tribal communities around Washington and Oregon. Restoration groups such as OlyEcosystems and the Hood Canal Salmon Enhancement Group were eager to plant trees that will support the planet not just by capturing carbon, but by helping to repair previously disturbed ecosystems. A number of the trees went to private individual landowners to enhance their land and homes ecologically and aesthetically. Trees were also provided to local parks, conservation districts, and schools.
The 1000 REDWOODS Project serves as a reminder: Sometimes, all it takes is a caring heart (and maybe a shovel!) to change the world. The quality of Northwest ecosystems will be enhanced—potentially for hundreds of years—thanks to the hands of these planters, which is a truly remarkable accomplishment.
The 1000 REDWOODS project was a resounding success—we are so excited to see the trees growing with us as time goes on. We are also looking forward to continuing our work through similar projects, so please stay tuned! Sign up for our email list here for updates on our latest efforts and ways to get involved.
And if you participated in the project as one of our planters and want to update us on your trees, we would love to hear from you! Please reach out to us with photos or news of how your trees are doing at email@example.com.
The power of possibility
We at PropagationNation believe wholeheartedly in the power of the trees and the power of people to help us move mountains (or forests, if you will). There are grand benefits to this work—fighting climate change, saving the planet—but also those that are more tangible. Trees provide us with much to savor every day, including beauty and shade, gifts we can bask in when we take the steps to support these majestic wonders. It’s reciprocal: When we take care of trees, they will take care of us.