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Henry Ford Fair Lane, Michigan

Posted: Sat Jan 05, 2019 12:50 pm
by DougBidlack

Henry Ford and his wife Clara built a house at this site from 1913 to 1915. It was built on 1,300 acres of farmland along the Rouge River in Dearborn which is located in Wayne county. The site is now a National Historic Landmark and some of the land is now owned by the University of Michigan-Dearborn. I visited this site in November of 2016 with Ellen. I only measured a few trees but this site will require much better exploration in the future. The Rouge River floodplain and surrounding forest is the highlight but some of the plantings around the house and garden are reaching respectable size. The first tree we measured was a planted Kentucky coffeetree. It was 8.70' in girth and 84.5' in height so it is currently the coffeetree with the largest girth that I've measured. I know of several trees of larger girth but I've yet to measure them. This Kentucky coffeetree also had a nice crown spread and it may be greater than any other that I've seen in the state so I'll have to measure that as well. After measuring this tree we went into the forest and made all the rest of our measurements there. This forest had a particularly good number of large American Elms. None were really huge but the number of fair-sized elms was greater than at any other site that I've seen in Michigan. The find of the day was the tallest hophornbeam that I've yet measured in Michigan. Later in the day we crossed the river and measured the girth of a single cottonwood. The other side of the river was a real invasive plant nightmare. Below are our measurements.

Cottonwood ? x 125'
16.1' x ? (other side of river)
American Elm ? x 99'
? x 94.5'
5.37' x 90'
Kentucky Coffeetree 8.70' x 84.5' (largest girth measured in Michigan)
Hophornbeam 3.20' x 75' (tallest measured in Michigan)

I took some pictures but I can't find them. I'll get more in a future visit.