Here's an article plus phone interview with Zane Moore & Kaleigh Rogers from Motherboard discussing the ongoing experiments currently underway with chimeric albino redwoods. Although absent from the interview, Arborist Tom Stapleton is actively involved with these experiments by providing the chimeric albino redwoods necessary to hopefully answer the fascinating questions Zane has pointed out within the article. With their ongoing collaboration efforts moving forward, both men hope an exciting breakthrough can be made in the near future. Below is the link to the article.
Chuck & Christina of Marin County share with us an aerial albino growing from a redwood on their property. The mutation is quite small and appears to be only 3-4 years old. Interestingly there are a few chimeric branches laced within the mutation which points to more complex genetics than first thought. Another curious oddity is this albino has been exposed to ground pollution (sewage & waste oil) which again might be pointing to a possible man-made cause of this mutation. Over the years we’ll be watching this one for further changes. Again, thanks Chuck and Christina for reporting this albino redwood.
Dennis from Erwitte Germany has sent us these pictures of a four year old Coast Redwood seedling that he propagated. Amazingly this year it has started developing sectorial chimerism and is the only case outside the United States that we’re aware of. According to Dennis, the seedling germinated out of a group of two hundred seeds collected from the Sequoiafarm Arboretum located in KaldenKirchen Germany. The arboretum is known for containing impressive stands of coast redwoods & holds a collection some consider home to the most cold tolerant strains in the world. At a latitude equal with Calgary Canada, winter temperatures frequently fall below freezing. It is not uncommon for temperatures to dip down to 5 F°/-15 C° pushing the cold tolerant limits with the species. Dennis is currently working on a breeding project with Coast Redwoods to find and develop the most cold tolerant strains available. Due to these weather extremes, it’s speculated that Dennis’s sectorial chimera may have been a result of cold induced mutation during cell division.
For more information on the history of redwoods in Germany, see the link here to Sequoiafarm. Note: you'll need to use the 'translate' feature on your browser to view the page in English. Sequoiafarm Kaldenkirchen
An article featured in the American Conifer Society Central Region newsletter. Published with permission & courtesy of Editor Jerry Belanger:
Frequently we’re asked at Chimera Redwoods if there will be chimeric albino seedlings and cuttings available for sale. Arborist Tom Stapleton is currently working on a project that will make this a reality in the future. As of this writing Tom and the Holderman family have patented three chimeric albino redwoods: ‘Mosaic Delight' (USPP26573P3), 'Grand Mosaic' (USPP29606P3) , & 'Early Snow' (USPP29217P2). These trees are still in the research and development stage and hopefully will be available to public within the next five years. The trees were developed as a result of a greenhouse experiment and were not taken from cuttings in the wild. Funds received from the sale of these trees will help offset research expenses. Tom hopes that by making albino redwood chimeras available to the public will help reduce the desire of souvenir hunters to poach natural albino redwoods in our state and national parks.
If you are interested in purchasing a albino chimeric redwood in the future and would like to be put on our waiting list, please reach out to Tom in the ‘Contact’ section of the website.
Below is a picture of cultivar 'Mosaic Delight'. This Coast Redwood albino chimera has a tendency to produce weeping green branches, while albino branch habit is mostly horizontal to slightly upright in form. Due to its moderate to slow growth, this cultivar may be better suited as a house plant or featured in a small garden setting. Tests are underway to determine its suitability to these environments.
After heavy metals were discovered in albino redwoods in 2016, Tom Stapleton and Zane Moore have teamed up to help further understand these new questions in albino redwood research. A select group of Tom’s chimeric albino redwoods are being tested with a specific heavy metal to see if this enhances albino redwood growth. The results may give us a better understanding of why we see these mutations in the wild and if redwoods are truly filtering out these toxins. Below is an article from the Bay Nature Magazine discussing the topic:
Fellow research colleague Zane Moore shares his recent discovery about the ecology of Albino Redwoods in releation to soil toxicity. Learn what finally may be causing these mutations to occur in coast redwoods below in this poster & news links:
To best view this poster, right click your mouse over the image and select: 'Open image in a new tab'.
Once again Arborist Tom Stapleton put on another exciting booth presentation at the Forestlands Expo in Ft. Bragg on Labor Day weekend. Tom teamed up with Mendocino Redwood Company during the Paul Bunyan Days festivities in Ft. Bragg. Locals from the area had a firsthand look at some of the rare trees that Tom had in propagation. Tom explained that these trees are essentially the “Canary in the coal mine” telling us how redwoods are adapting to an ever changing environment where the implications of pollution may be having an effect on the redwood forests.
Paul Bunyan (played by Mike Stephens) stands alongside Robert Douglas Senior Biologist/Forest Science Manager for Mendocino Redwood Company during the Paul Bunyan Day’s festivities in Ft. Bragg.
On June 7th Tom Stapleton held a booth presentation about albino and chimera redwoods at Trees of Mystery. The turnout was great with tourists and locals alike coming out to see the fascinating trees which Tom and Zane are studying. School children from Mary Peacock Elementary in Crescent City were seen listening to Tom's description on the science behind thee trees. The kids had the chance to look into a microscope and see up close the distinct color patterns within chimeric albino redwoods. Many were taken back by the idea that redwoods could grow in such beautiful color arrays. Folks visiting from out of state expecting to see only redwoods of great size and height were pleasantly surprised by the multicolored redwood trees. Some people exclaimed "is this real" as if interpreting that the foliage was fake. Tom said: "experience it for yourself". The expression on most people’s faces was one of bewilderment that a redwood could exhibit such a bright white appearance and yet be so soft. For more information about the visit, you can read it here in the Crescent City Triplicate newspaper: Albino Redwoods News Article 5-28-16
Thanks again to Debbie and Brenda at Trees of Mystery for making this visit possible!
A pariclinal chimeric albino redwood bigger than the Cotati Tree was discovered by a Sacramento City arborist in 2014. After careful consideration on how to protect the tree, the City finally decided to go public with an announcement on 5/11/16. Here is a link to the video about the discovery: