While you are out and about this summer in Michigan, keep your eyes peeled for Michigan’s largest trees.
ReLeaf Michigan, a non-profit tree planting and education organization, is once again searching for the state’s largest contenders. The organization has launched its 14th biennial Michigan Big Tree Hunt contest.
The contest, which offers prizes for identifying the biggest trees in Michigan, challenges Michigan residents to look for the largest trees in each county and submit them for review. The largest trees in the state can be found anywhere: a backyard, a local park, or a hiking trail.
Certificates and prizes are awarded for the largest tree submitted from each county, for the overall largest tree in different age groups, and for potential state champion trees. The contest is open to participants of all ages.
ReLeaf noted, even if the tree submitted is not as large as the currently listed state champion of that species, it’s important to still submit, since the current champion may have died or since been removed.
ReLeaf Michigan started the Michigan Big Tree Hunt in 1993 to celebrate the state’s beauty and create a fun way to gather information about Michigan’s biggest trees. The contest is an opportunity for all age groups to help track these vital historical living landmarks.
The contest is also a way to discover eligible trees for the National Register of Big Trees, which is updated every spring and fall by American Forests. Michigan has 19 registered National Champions.
Since there are nearly 200 tree species that don’t yet have registered champions, the Big Tree Hunt is a great opportunity to get Michigan trees noticed nationwide, too.
Contest details and the entry form are available online. The contest will accept submissions until the deadline of Sept. 3, 2019.
*Main photo courtesy of ReLeaf Michigan, Clinton County, Red pine, 123″ circumference