and his sons, Jared and Jake, co-founded the Champion Tree Project
), which locates and clones the largest known specimens of the country's trees.
Milarch's family has been in the shade tree farming business for generations, but in the 1980s and 1990s started
seeing trouble – trees dying on the farm, not far from Traverse City. “We're starting to feel the effects of pumping
billions of tons of poisons into our air and water,” he says. “Everywhere I look in America at our forests, I see
real trouble.” Milarch theorizes that by cloning champion trees, which have shown the ability to thrive in tough
conditions, he can help save America's great forests.