We’re on the hunt for the biggest tree on a Chippewa Watershed Conservancy preserve.

We don’t know where it is or even what species it might be.

That’s where you come in!

Over the next 12 months, we challenge you to explore our preserves and find our biggest trees.

Think of this as a great reason to explore some of our less-visited preserves. Everyone visiting properties such as Bundy Hill or Audubon Woods will see the same big trees, but what about Williams-Blackburn Preserve or Quigley Creek Natural Area?

It’s also a great opportunity to responsibly travel off-trail as you seek hidden corners of familiar preserves. Hall’s Lake Natural Area alone has more than 150 acres to explore and most of it cannot be seen from established trails.

Once you’ve found a big tree we want you to collect some data for us:

1) Measure the tree’s circumference at 4.5 feet above ground level – you’ll need a flexible tape measure for this. If the tree is on a slope, take your measurement 4.5 feet from the ground on the uphill side of the tree. If the tree has more than one trunk, only measure the largest individual trunk. Don’t forget to record this measurement!

2) Take a photograph of the tree. You don’t have to be in the photo, but if you are it will help give a sense of scale.

3) Record the GPS coordinates of the tree you found. These coordinates will be used by CWC staff and volunteers to confirm your big tree find.

4) Submit your data (measurement, photo, and GPS coordinate) to us via email at cwc@cwc-mi.org.

As we receive entries, we’ll share your photos of your finds on our website, on social media, and in our newsletter.

Once we have received all submissions we’ll sort through entries to pick winners in two categories: biggest broadleaf tree and biggest needleleaf tree. The individuals that submit the two winning entries will receive prize packages. In the event that multiple individuals submit the same winning tree, a winner will be chosen at random to receive the prize package.

The deadline for submissions is Friday, December 17, 2021. Winners will be announced no later than Friday December 31, 2021.