MARIN COUNTY (KPIX 5) — The College of Marin celebrated Earth Day in a very special way, by planting some of the rarest trees on the planet. They planted three clones of ancient coastal redwoods, cut down more than a century ago.

“This is the genetic twin of the Fieldbrook stump, which was cut down in 1890,” said Archangel Ancient Tree Archive board member and former KPIX 5 anchor Dana King.

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The stump was more than 30 feet wide and the tree was as tall as a 40 story building. Scientists cloned several living trees from that stump.

The trees will grow at the college under the care of landscape manager Tom Burke. “This is one of my children. It’s older than me, but I still think of it as one of my children,” Burke said.

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The Archangel Ancient Tree Archive also organized Earth Day clone plantings in several spots around the world, including Germany, Ireland, Wales, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand.

“These trees will live to be two to three to four thousand years old,” King said.

The archive chose College of Marin because the trees will be protected from deer and harsh weather. When fully grown, the trees could reach diameters of 30-40 feet.

The trees grow about 10 feet per year. Each one can absorb about 400 tons of carbon over its lifetime.

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