Page  45 ï~~1999 THE MICHIGAN BOTANIST 45 THE BIG TREES OF MICHIGAN 25. Sequoiadendron giganteum (Lindl.) Buchholz Giant Sequoia Bonnie B. Harnish, Chair Elwood B. Ehrle Lake Bluff Audubon Center Department of Biological Sciences Manistee, MI 49960 Western Michigan University Kalamazoo, MI 49008 Michigan's largest known Giant Sequoia stands on the grounds of the Lake Bluff Audubon Center near Manistee, Manistee County, MI, on the western side of the lower peninsula. Description of the Species: The Giant Sequoia is a member of the Taxodiaceae, along with the Bald Cypress. (Modern opinion mostly favors merging the Taxodiaceae into the Cupressaceae, as was done in volume 2 of Flora of North America, 1993.) The genus Sequoiadendron is distinguished from other members of the family by having leaves which are scale like. They are hard and prickly and give the branchlets a cord-like appearance (Fig. 1). The dark reddishbrown, ovoid cones are 2-3.5" long and 1.5-2" broad. Sequoiadendron giganteum is native in a small portion of the Sierra Nevada of California. The Michigan State Champion Giant Sequoia was planted as 2-3 year-old seedling in 1949. The tree is therefore just over 50 years old. Location of Michigan's Big Tree: The tree is located on the grounds of the Lake Bluff Audubon Center near Manistee, Michigan. To reach the tree, take U.S. Route 31 north from Manistee. Where MI Route 110 turns to the left and U.S. Route 31 continues to the northeast, turn left onto MI Route 110. The Lake Bluff Audubon Center is on MI Route 110, 1.8 miles from its junction with U.S. Route 31. The tree is approximately 250' south of the headquarters building of the Lake Bluff Audubon Center. Description of Michigan's Big Tree: The tree is magnificent and has a healthy, solid trunk. It is beautifully symmetrical with a gradually tapering conical shape. It was measured on 26 July 1995 by the authors. Its girth is 151" (3.83 m). It is 58' (17.7 m) tall and has a crown spread of 30' (9.1 m). Its rapid growth rate is indicated its having reached this size in only 50 years and its increase in girth by 13" and in height by 11' since it was last measured (date unknown) by P. Dakin, G. Terry, and R. Spenski.

Page  46 ï~~46 THE MICHIGAN BOTANIST Vol. 38 46 THE MICHIGAN BOTANIST Vol. 38 a. Fruiting branch, x /3. b. Upper crown twig, x. c. Seed, x 2/,4. FIGURE 1. Characteristics of the Giant Sequoia. The illustration is reproduced from Preston, 1976, p. 90, and used with permission.

Page  47 ï~~1999 THE MICHIGAN BOTANIST 47 INVITATION TO PARTICIPATE If you would like to join us in extending this series of articles by visiting and describing one or more of Michigan's Big Trees, please contact Elwood B. Ehrle for help with locations, specifications for taking measurements, and assistance with the manuscript. The Michigan Botanical Club encourages your involvement in this activity. Please remember to ask permission before entering private property. DEDICATION This series of articles is dedicated to the memory of Paul Thompson, Michigan's Big Tree Coordinator for over 40 years, who died in 1994. LITERATURE CITED Preston, Richard J. 1976. North American Trees. Iowa State University Press, xxix + 399 pp. Ames, Iowa.