Cloned Redwoods Get Planted In San Francisco

December 14, 2018 - 3:12 pm

SAN FRANCISCO — After being gone for more than a century, coastal redwoods are returning to the Presidio. 

Volunteers on Friday planted saplings cloned from the stumps of huge redwoods cut down by loggers long ago. 

Coastal redwoods can grow more than 300 feet tall and live for 2,000 years. But the DNA used to make the saplings came from an ever larger specimen.

Their bark grows so thick that they nearly become fireproof, said one expert. 

"It's something that my kids' kids' kids may enjoy if that happens," said Steve Duffy, an arborist with the Presidio Trust. "It feels great."

If the trees reach maturity, they could become part of a healthy ecosystem, said Joe Sandri, a member of the board of Archangel Ancient Tree Archive. That group is trying to replace old-growth forests.

"They are champions of filtering air, water and soil," said Sandri about the redwoods.