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Saturday September 23, 2017
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Big Tree Hunter

 

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One of her tasks was assisting with ReLeaf's big-tree hunt contest, and she noticed "a fellow named Richard Pomorski kept coming into the office and getting entry forms. He kept coming in because he was deaf and couldn't call me on the phone. The first year we did it was 'ninety-four, and the first year he won was 'ninety-nine."

Though he works as a groundskeeper at Barton Hills Country Club, Pomorski's avocation is hunting for big trees. He's the best tree hunter in the county, where he's found many state and even national champion trees. In 2009 alone, he found four national champions here: hazelnut, box elder, American plum, and Allegheny serviceberry. And in the 2010-12 ReLeaf Michigan contest, Pomorski found the biggest tree in Livingston County, an American basswood, in Pinckney. He also found a potential new state champion English walnut in Chelsea (verification is pending).

A man of few words with thinning hair and sharply chiseled features, Pomorski says he "liked trees when I was little," growing up in a rural part of Whitmore Lake, and later studied them when he was "up north in [Alpena Community] College" working on his forestry degree. Interviewed with Cagle, who often goes tree hunting with him, Pomorski tells how he stalks the big trees: "You got to look every day, when you're driving. Most I find by driving."

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