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24.2.12

Romney's trees

Mitt Romney has repeatedly declared that Michigan's trees are just the right height. I'm inclined to cut him some slack on this comment, given that Romney has never really had a way with words. There definitely is something hard to define about the trees in a place one has lived for a while that just feels right when you come back after a long time away.

Amusingly, though, Romney's tree height comment has been getting attention just as a major global study of tree height has been published. The first point to note is that there is actually a range of tree heights in Michigan. In southern Michigan, near Romney's birthplace of Detroit, the average canopy height appears to be about 15 meters, but as you travel north it increases to about 30 meters. Trees of those heights are found throughout the eastern US. Nevertheless, I would note that in Massachusetts, where Romney was governor, and in New Hampshire, where he has a mansion, the trees are generally in the 30 meter range, giving some credibility to his claim of a distinctive (southern) Michigan tree height experience.

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