Forget California, There’s a Giant Sequoia Tree Right Here in Michigan
Thinking about traveling to the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada in California to take in the majestic giant sequoias, allow us to change your plans. There's actually a giant sequoia growing right here in Michigan.
Located in Manistee, Michigan, the seemingly misplaced tree is not only growing, but growing strong and tall. The tree is located on a cliff along Lake Michigan at the Lake Bluff Bird Sanctuary, which is owned by Michigan Audubon. According to Click On Detroit, the last measurement in 2016 found the tree standing at just over 100 feet tall.
How a Sequoia Made its Way to Michigan
So how did a tree known for being synonymous with Californian forests find its way to Michigan? The sequoia found its way to Michigan when it was planted in 1949 by Gertrude and Edward Gray. The couple brought back six sequoia seedlings from Northern California, and three of those were able to survive. Yes, three, there are actually two other, much smaller, sequoias growing in the Mitten state.
Not only is it pretty cool that we have such unique trees growing in Michigan, but it also has a bit of significance when it comes to the environment. According to Dr. Bill Libby, professor emeritus of forestry and genetics at the University of California-Berkeley, a giant sequoia growing in northern Michigan provides interesting data in the way of climate change.
“Any giant sequoia surviving, and particularly any thriving, at or near the then-known edge of its potential range, provides an important data point as we consider where to possibly plant this species as climate changes,” Libby told Click on Detroit.
Libby has described the tree as "one of the more important sequoias on Earth because if it can handle this kind of cold and be this far north, they could be cloned around the world".
California may be where tourists head year after year to take a glimpse at the towering sequoias right now, but Michigan may just become a new destination for enjoying these giant beauties.