A new automatic design retrieval method that identifies the legacy product design most similar to a new one is proposed. Matching phylogenetic trees has been utilized in biological science for decades and is referred to as “tree reconciliation.” A new application of this approach in manufacturing is presented where legacy designs are retrieved based on reconciliation of trees representing products bill of materials (BOM). A product BOM is a structured tree, which represents its components and their hierarchal relationships; hence, it captures the contents and structure of assembled products. Making use of data associated with the retrieved designs also helps speed-up other downstream planning activities such as process planning, hence improving planning efficiency. A chemical processing centrifugal pump is used as a case study for illustration. The results obtained using the proposed method is compared with those recently published on BOM trees matching for further analysis and verification. This novel method is less computationally complex than available state-of-the-art algorithms.