Know a really big tree? Submit it to Michigan Big Tree Hunt contest

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The biennial Michigan Big Tree Hunt is back and inviting outdoor adventurers to join in on a statewide search for Michigan’s biggest trees.

Participants have an entire year to help track down Michigan’s tallest and stoutest trees and submit their entries to BigTreeHunt.com before the search closes in August 2024. The event is hosted by ReLeaf Michigan, a statewide tree planting and educational nonprofit.

Participation is free and open to all ages, with prizes for various categories including largest white pine, Michigan’s state tree. The contest awards the largest tree submitted in each Michigan county as well as trees that represent the largest of their species.

In an announcement about this latest big tree hunt, organizers shared a tip for prospective big-tree hunters: “You don’t have to hunt hard for big trees — many are in common locations such as local parks, backyards or along hiking trails.”

RELATED: A remote Upper Peninsula white pine has been crowned Michigan’s tallest tree

The biggest Michigan trees recorded in the most recent Big Tree Hunt, which ended in 2022, were both cottonwoods: A tree with a 308-inch circumference discovered by youth hunter Aidan Presnell in Washtenaw County, and a 301-inch tree reported by Mike Antoszewski and Paul Funk in Monroe County.

More than 650 trees were submitted for consideration during that hunt, with more than 100 certificates and prizes awarded to the people who discovered them.

Michigan currently has five “champion trees” — the largest living specimens of their species — on the nationwide roster of big trees, with a sixth being considered for that list.

Visit Michigan Big Tree Hunt online for contest details and a list of 2022 winners, photo gallery and featured “Big Tree of the Week.”

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