Traverse City Record-Eagle

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February 21, 2013

'Champion' trees being sold in Benzie

BEULAH — There are trees and then there are “champion” trees.

The Benzie Conservation District is selling the latter: namely, tree seedlings for huge, historic trees such as Black Willows, Champion Cottonwood and Red Osier Dogwood, all with the purpose of helping the environment.

“These types of trees do what trees do best, which is clean the water as it runs through the soil,” said Tad Peacock, executive director of the conservation district.

The district is teaming with Copemish-based nonprofit Archangel Ancient Tree Archive to sell the historic trees in the district’s annual spring seedling fundraising sale. Archangel Ancient Tree Archive locates and propagates the world’s oldest and most iconic trees.

The idea of selling the champion seedlings came about after the district saw a huge turnout for a public forum about the trees in Beulah last summer.

“These are all rare trees,” said Jared Milarch of Archangel. “We only produce clones of some of the biggest trees in the country and in the world.”

But anyone who want to buy and plant one of the ancient trees may have to wait a while to see its full glory. Milarch said the willow can grow for “three to four hundred years.”

More information on the fundraising sale is available at the Conservation District website http://benziecd.org/.

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