Metro Parkway, Harrison Township, MI

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DougBidlack
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Metro Parkway, Harrison Township, MI

Post by DougBidlack » Mon Apr 16, 2018 4:01 pm

NTS,

in late February of this year I had the pleasure of meeting up with Dave Gruenawald again to measure some trees in southeastern Michigan. We had a fairly ambitious schedule but we were thwarted on nearly every tree we wanted to measure due to extreme flooding from heavy rain and melting snow. We had planned on measuring the following trees:
Black Walnut in Clinton, Macomb Co. (Had been measured to 247" x 79' x 124' = 357 points but the crown spread is likely way too high. Height may be a little too high.)
Black Oak in Algonac, St. Clair Co. (State Champion and had been measured to 256" x 120' x 80' = 396 pts. Height is far too high and crown spread also too high.)
Cottonwood in Algonac, St. Clair Co. (Dave had measured the girth of this tree to 305" with a string back in February of 2008.)
Red Maple in China, St. Clair Co. (State Champion and measured by Will Blozan to 234" x 120.45' x 80' = 374 pts. back in January of 2003.)
We first visited the black walnut and even with chest waders we could not have measured this tree...the river was that high! From a distance the tree did look like it might be a double but it was still pretty impressive. On we went to the black oak which was in a courtyard of an elementary school. Unfortunately for us the school was permanently closed and locked so that there was no way to get at the base of this tree. It looks like the site is being sold and I fear for the future of this tree. We ate lunch in Algonac and then went to see the cottonwood but it was also surrounded by too much water too measure. It is a fat but relatively short tree. The red maple was next but our hopes were not high. The owner was not present and even if he were we likely could not have measured this tree as the rivers were extremely high here and some bridges were underwater. So we struck out on all four trees! We decided to head down to a small forest in Harrison Township in Macomb County that Dave refers to as Metro Parkway but I think it is not a park and has no official protection although Dave has been working to try and get some protection for this area. Even though there was no river here the land was rather low and wet and we were not certain what we could expect. Dave first brought me to a butternut that he had found. This tree measured 5.70' (68.40") x 94.5' and it is the first butternut that I've ever measured. Unfortunately this tree is now in decline and will probably not be around much longer. We next wanted to remeasure a bur oak that we had measured to 199" x 97.5' x 87' = 318 pts. back in February of 2008. This tree was sitting in water and we didn't remeasure it. Below is a picture of this tree.
David.jpg
Lastly, we wanted to measure a silver maple that was 163" x 118.5' back in February of 2008 but this tree was also sitting in deep water. Luckily we did see several silver maples that were dry. The tallest of these measured 10.98' (131.76") x 124.5'. The butternut and silver maple are the tallest that I know about in Michigan. We'll need to get together again to measure some of these trees when things dry out.

Trees measured:
Butternut 5.70' (68.40") x 94.5'
Silver Maple 10.98' (131.76") x 124.5'

Doug

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dbhguru
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Re: Metro Parkway, Harrison Township, MI

Post by dbhguru » Mon Apr 16, 2018 5:37 pm

Doug,

Great reports. It's pretty clear that southern Michigan has plenty of impressive trees. They don't have to be exaggerated. fortunately, with you on the job, we're going to see where they actually fit.

Bob
Robert T. Leverett
Co-founder, Native Native Tree Society
Co-founder and President
Friends of Mohawk Trail State Forest
Co-founder, National Cadre

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DougBidlack
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Re: Metro Parkway, Harrison Township, MI

Post by DougBidlack » Tue Apr 17, 2018 10:02 pm

Bob,

after leaf out I hope to put together a list or lists of tall (and maybe big) trees for Michigan. I'm not sure how much more measuring I'll be able to do before then but the cold doesn't seem to want to give way just yet.

Doug

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Erik Danielsen
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Re: Metro Parkway, Harrison Township, MI

Post by Erik Danielsen » Thu Apr 19, 2018 8:49 pm

Doug, I've been finding that many Butternuts here (especially in riparian areas) are hybrids to one degree or another with Japanese Walnut. There's a good pdf from Purdue on their identification that's easy to look up. So far the only straight butternuts I've found have been upland trees.

Too bad the river kept you from your main targets. Another time!

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