Have you ever had the urge to do something bigger than what you ever thought you were capable of? Have you ever had that gnawing feeling in your chest and stomach that you need to help change the world? Have you ever done more than just think about it and actually taken action? Today we are going to talk about a man and his family who are doing just that, trying to change the world one giant tree at a time!
Two Men, One (Large) Goal
I was fortunate enough to meet David and Jake Milarch at TREE-JAM-CAMP three years ago. These two men from a super small town in Northern Michigan have been working with giant trees for a large portion of their lives. By giant, I mean the largest trees in the world, like the Giant Sequoias and the Coast Redwoods of California! These guys are trying to protect these extremely special and unique trees for the good of the human race and – even closer to home – for the future of your children.
David Milarch had led a hard life before a life changing and very near death encounter with, what he claims, as higher beings. These higher beings told David that he needed to take his knowledge and to do everything he can to save the giant trees. So he stopped everything he had going for him and dedicated everything to the protection and the propagation of these amazing trees! You can read about his encounter and his mission in the book, The Man Who Planted Trees by Jim Robbins.
David is exactly what you think of when it comes to a typical tree guy who has the life of the typical tree guy. David has long unwieldy hair and a scruffy beard. More often than not he isn’t wearing shoes and tends to tell stories that quiet everyone else in the room. He has the ability to capture everyone’s attention within earshot. David had lived a wild life before his life-changing near death encounter. He had been a biker and a bare knuckle boxer, an alcoholic, and a feared arm wrestler. If anyone has stories, it’s Dave!
His son Jake is capable of the same type of energetic story telling. Whether he’s telling you about the cougar that just walked past our cars in the parking lot or the time that a cone fell from 300’ out of a Giant Sequoia, bounced off the massive buttress roots and collided with an unknowing hiker’s head, his stories are just as addictive as his father’s! (If you ever meet Jake, be sure to ask him about the cone falling!)
An Organization Worthy of Your Support
David and Jake started a non-profit organization called Archangel Ancient Tree Archive (or AATA for short.) The goal of AATA is to propagate, reforest, and archive the champion trees on Planet Earth. This is no small goal seeing as many of these trees lie in deep valleys or on high mountain tops that are almost completely inaccessible. As stated on AATA’s website, 98% of the old growth forests in the US are gone. We are essentially down to 2% of our life savings. That’s a scary thought when it really comes down to it.
I was fortunate enough to go on an expedition with AATA and Bartlett Arborist Supply last spring to help get cuttings from Giant Sequoias and Coast Redwoods. These remarkable trees are off the beaten path and have survived through the greater part of mankind’s civilization. Standing underneath and next to these enormous living organisms is beyond what I can describe in this article. They are awe-inspiring. They are far bigger than you can ever imagine. Their purpose is far greater than their board feet. These trees need our help and protection.
AATA Preserve and Protect These Majestic Trees
Our goal at Bartlett Arborist Supply is to help climbers and to help others. We want to do our part to help out this amazing mission that David and Jake are on to help protect the genes of these trees for generations to come. We are going to be giving a portion of our sales to help fund these amazing goals that AATA has! It takes all of us working together to make a huge change! Please help by donating money to AATA or by taking part in some of our upcoming sales!