There’s still time for Michiganders to take part in a contest that gathers vital information about trees by challenging participants to find the biggest one in every county.
ReLeaf Michigan, a non-profit tree planting and education organization, started the Michigan Big Tree Hunt contest in 1993 to foster an enthusiasm and love of trees in the next generation, and to collect information about the state’s biggest trees. Contest entries provide potential state champion trees to Michigan’s Big Tree Registry, as well as the National Register of Big Trees. Big Tree Hunt Coordinator Lara Edwards says since Michigan champion trees die or may be removed, contest entries are a wonderful opportunity for all age groups to help track the vital and historical living landmarks. She says the contest also serves to remind how important trees are as they clean pollutants from air and water, absorb carbon dioxide and make the state more climate resilient.
The 14th annual event got underway in May and there’s still time to submit entries. Each entry must include a photograph of the tree and, if possible, a photo of a leaf or twig from the tree on the ground, identification of the tree, its location, and a circumference measurement of the tree from about four-and-a-half feet off the ground. Edwards reminds anyone interested in participating that the entry period concludes in about a month, on September 3rd. She notes that they’ve had hundreds of entries from all over the state, with several from Livingston County that speak to the uniqueness of the region and its landscape.
The contest is free and allows participants of all ages to submit as many entries as they’d like, with certificates and prizes for the winner in each category. Those interested can find entry forms online, at conservation district offices, libraries and nature centers throughout state, or via email from firstname.lastname@example.org. Additional information can be found at the link below. (DK)
Photo 1: A White Oak with a poison ivy vine from Fenton, submitted by Doug Vandenberg.
Photo 2: An Oak tree from Fowlerville, submitted by Kyle Moultan.