Northern Michigan Kids: Spend a summer day with your family hiking, exploring Northern Michigan's great outdoors, and hunting for Michigan's largest tree in the Michigan Big Tree Hunt Contest! Submit your entries by August 1, 2012 for the chance to win certificates, prizes and even celebrity status with the National Register of Big Trees.

The Michigan Big Tree Hunt Contest has been held every two years since 1993 by ReLeaf Michigan, in an effort to continue the works of botanist Paul Thompson, who searched for Michigan’s big trees and kept records starting in the early 1940’s.  ReLeaf Michigan encourages Big Tree Hunting among all age groups to help track these vital historical living landmarks, and with summer vacation underway, it's the perfect Northern Michigan outdoor activity for your kids and families.

The Michigan Big Tree Hunt Contest is also a way for a tree hunter to potentially gain celebrity status in the National Register of Big Trees, which is issued every two years by American Forests. First following the contest, potential state champions are forwarded to the Michigan Botanical Club Champion Tree Coordinator for further review and possible inclusion in the State Champion Tree List. If the tree makes it to state champion status and appears to be larger than any tree of that species currently in the National Register, it is submitted for consideration. As of today, Michigan ranks 7th in the country with 27 National Champions. To see our 27 National Champions and to view the list of 200 trees for which there are currently no champions go to

Certificates and prizes will be awarded at a ceremony this September for: • Largest tree of any species submitted by a Big Tree Hunter over 16 years of age
• Largest tree of any species submitted by a Big Tree Hunter 15 years of age or younger
• Largest White Pine (Michigan’s State Tree)
• Largest tree of any species for each county • Largest tree of any species that is larger than the current registered Michigan State Champion.

Contest forms can be found at Michigan State Park Visitor Centers, by downloading one at, emailing us at or calling 1-800-642-7353.

The Michigan Big Tree Hunt contest is sponsored by ReLeaf Michigan, Michigan Botanical Foundation, Michigan Botanical Club, Hanes Fund, Consumers Energy Foundation, DTE Energy Foundation, Lapham Associates, Arboriculture Society of Michigan, and the MDNR – Urban and Community Forestry Program.

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