Every year since 1993, the group ReLeaf Michigan has encouraged everyone to get out into the woods and search for the biggest tree we can find.
It’s the Michigan Big Tree Hunt.
This year, it was 13-year-old Kindall Covey from Lenawee County who found the biggest tree in the hunt. The sycamore is the biggest tree in Lenawee County, and maybe even the entire state.
Bill Lawrence, President of ReLeaf Michigan, explains that the contest runs for two years at a time, and asks participants to measure the circumference of their "tree nominee" at about chest height.
He says Covey’s tree has a circumference of 315 inches, giving it a diameter of “over 100 inches.”
“Our entire family tried to hug the tree, and we still needed about two more people,” Covey says.
Lawrence tells us that it’s hard to determine the exact age of a tree without drilling into it, “which we don’t want to do.” But he says you can estimate an age range based on the tree’s diameter.
“It’s well in excess of 100 years old. It very well could be 200 years old,” Lawrence says.
Lawrence tells us that the tree measurements submitted by contest participants are kept in a database that helps them keep track of “these monsters that we might be able to propagate at some time in the future.”