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After 2 decades of tracking down world's oldest trees, group ready to begin planting clones

  • In this photograph taken April 18, 2013, Jake Milarch holds coastal redwood clones developed in the Archangel Ancient Tree Archive lab in Copemish, Mich. Milarch and other members of the nonprofit group hope to plant millions of redwood clones to reforest the planet and fight climate change. (AP Photo/John Flesher)The Associated Press

  • In this photo taken April 18, 2013 shows clones of coastal redwood trees in the Archangel Ancient Tree Archive laboratory in Copemish, Mich. The nonprofit group hopes to plant millions of genetic copies of ancient redwoods around the world. (AP Photo/John Flesher)The Associated Press

  • This October 2011, photo provided by Archangel Ancient Tree Archive shows an unidentified person standing beside a coastal redwood tree near Crescent City, Calif., that is among dozens the group has cloned. The group hopes to plant thousands of genetic copies of the trees around the world. (AP Photo/Courtesy Archangel Ancient Tree Archive)The Associated Press

After spending two decades producing clones from some of the world's biggest and oldest trees, a nonprofit group says it's time to start planting.

The Archangel Ancient Tree Archive has developed several thousand genetic copies of coastal redwoods and giant sequoias from California at its laboratory in Copemish, Mich. On Monday, several dozen redwoods will be planted in seven countries. Others have been planted in Oregon. Some were developed from the stump of a tree that had lived about 4,000 years.

Co-founder David Milarch says the Earth Day event is a first step toward mass-production of the clones. The group hopes millions will be planted around the world, helping to restore ancient forests and fight climate change by absorbing massive amounts of carbon dioxide.