Michigan Tree Experts Stumped by Romney Claims

Michigan Tree Experts Stumped by Romney Claims

Michigan Tree Experts Stumped by Romney Claims

What are the roots of Romney’s prolific praise for Michigan’s trees?

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Twice in four days, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has quite bizarrely praised the size of trees in Michigan, which is holding its primary next week. “A little history—I was born and raised here. I love the state. It seems right here. Trees are the right height,” he said on Tuesday. This morning in Detroit, he repeated the line: “This feels good, being back in Michigan,” Romney said. “You know, the trees are the right height.”

The political world seems flummoxed at the quote, on both the left and right. So I called the Arboriculture Society of Michigan for some guidance. They are the foremost tree group in Michigan—a coalition of arborists, foresters, professional tree climbers and academics “interested in all aspects of arboriculture and the health and care of Michigan’s trees.”

Unfortunately, they were not much help. “I’m not sure what it means, to be honest with you,” said Nancy Carpenter, ASM’s executive director. “They vary. It depends on the tree; the white pine goes over 100 feet tall. There are others that don’t grow as tall.”

Carpenter did note, however, that she thought she heard the line before, “when I was a little girl, and [Romney’s] father was governor.” She added that her group will not be making any presidential endorsements.  

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