Laurelhurst Park, Seattle, WA
Redwood Grove Planted in Laurelhurst Park
The ten saplings are only about 18 inches high now, yet they are genetically identical to some of the largest and oldest coast redwoods on earth. They were planted in Laurelhurst Park as part of an effort to expand the presence of coast redwoods in the Seattle area. Laurelhurst Elementary School students from three kindergartens and three third grade classes planted the trees on Nov 17, 2017.
Seattle received these saplings through the project Moving the Giants to Puget Sound, which has delivered more than 300 of the redwoods to 30 Puget Sound communities. The main goal of the project is to preserve the genetics of champion redwood trees for future generations as well as to expand their range north. It’s also preserving the experience of stepping into a redwood grove, which is akin to walking into Nature’s Cathedral.
These cloned redwood saplings are in Seattle thanks to the ground-breaking work of Archangel Ancient Tree Archive, a Michigan non-profit whose mission is to harvest the genetics of the world’s oldest and largest trees before they are gone and reforest the earth with the offspring of these champion trees. Archangel crews harvest cuttings from the tops of existing redwood trees and stumps and raise those cuttings into saplings ready for planting.
Each tree is an exact genetic duplicate of the giant redwood from which it was taken. Two of the Laurelhurst saplings came from the Fieldbrook tree, a massive redwood that measured 109 feet around at it base. Although the tree was felled in 1890, it still produces sprouts. If the Fieldbrook tree were alive today, it would rival the General Sherman tree as the largest tree on earth.