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Got Any Giant-Size Trees On Your Farm?
If you've got a big tree on your farm - one that's bigger than any other tree around - you'd better measure it. You may just have the nation's largest tree, waiting to be discovered.
The American Forestry Association keeps tabs on the biggest trees of every species in the United States, but there is one problem - the biggest trees, in many cases, have yet to be found.
"There are 1,100 different tree types in the U.S., and so far, we only have champions for 700," says Dorothy Behlen, director of the AFA's big tree program. The Association publishes the National Register of Big Trees, a listing with dimensions, and some pictures of the champion trees in each category. The 400 types without champions have just never had a tree nominated. In addition, there are probably many trees larger than the ones on the list. Of 228 champion trees published in the first directory in 1945, only seven are still champions. The others have been replaced by larger trees, or in some cases died or were destroyed.
"Some states have no champions - Connecticut, Delaware, Nebraska, Vermont, North and South Dakota, Wyoming, and Alaska - while Florida has 112 and Michigan 82," says Behlen. "Although Florida has an unusual climate with many species to nominate, other states have champions because someone made it their business to go out and look for them. In Oregon, for example, there is a barber who cuts hair four days a week and looks for big trees the other three. He's found a number of champion trees." She notes that because of its exotic climate, Hawaii has its own category.
Current records show that the world's biggest tree is General Sherman, a giant Sequoias located in California, which is 270 feet high and 83 feet in circumference and estimated to be 3500 years old. The world's tallest known tree is a giant Redwood located in the Redwood National Park near Orick, California. It measures 364.4 ft. tall.
Copies of the National Register of Big Trees sell for $1. It explains how to measure tree height, circumference and crown spread to determine official size.
For more information, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, National Register of Big Trees, American Forestry Association, 1319 18th Street N.W., Washington, D.C. 20036 (ph 202 467-5810).

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1980 - Volume #4, Issue #2