Today I Learned: Michigan Has Giant Sequoia Trees
The tree species, which was once thought to be partial to the climate of the mountains of California, also thrives up north.
When you visit Sequoia National Park, at the foothills of the Sierra Nevada range, the Rangers will tell you the Sequoias thrive there because the climate is conducive to their growth, which is the right mix of Mediterranean like summers and milder, but wet winters.
But thanks to a couple fo intrepid Michigan travelers, scientists are learning that the giant trees can survive the harsh Michigan winters as well.
According to David Milarch of the Archangel Ancient Tree Archive, based in Copemish, Michigan, the 100-foot tall giant sequoia in the Lake Bluff Farms Bird Sanctuary on the coast of Lake Michigan near Manistee, is thriving, and is one of three sequoias in the park.
The trees were planted in 1949 by Edward and Gertrude Gray, when they planted six seedlings bred from the California giant sequoias. Three took root, while the other three failed.
The biggest sequoia of the three has exceeded 100 feet in height, in contrast to the biggest one, the 265-foot tall "General Sherman" located in Sequoia National Park.
The tree is being studied by sequoia and redwood expert Dr. Bill Libby of the University of California, who told ClickOnDetroit that the tree is important.
“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 them.
In the meantime, you can enjoy the shade of the giant at Lake Bluff Farms, which is open 9am-5pm seven days a week.
SEE MORE: Michigan Tunnel of Trees Tour