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July 30, 2008   Email to Friend 

Darryal Ray
(334) 613-4187
July 30, 2008

Foresters measure a champion bald cypress in Baldwin County.
MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- Thirty trees were recently declared "champion trees" by the Alabama Forestry Commission, raising to 134 the total number of state trees meeting the requirements for that designation.

The purpose of the Champion Tree Program is to discover, recognize and preserve the largest of each tree species in Alabama. For a tree to be eligible, it must be a species that is recognized as native or naturalized in Alabama. A naturalized tree is an "introduced" species that has established itself in the wild, reproducing naturally and spreading.

The state already boasts seven national champion trees: a bayberry tree in the City of Daphne, a Florida anise tree in Perry County, a blackjack oak and a sugarberry tree in Barbour County, a Durand oak and a two-winged silverbell in Wilcox County and a staghorn sumac tree in Tallapoosa County.

In addition, five other Alabama trees are national co-champions: a swamp dogwood tree in Dallas County, a Georgia hackberry in Perry County, a Southern magnolia in Calhoun County, a myrtle oak in Baldwin County and a sparkleberry tree in Choctaw.

Anyone can nominate a tree for "Champion" consideration by completing an on-line nomination form. However, an AFC forester or forestry specialist is responsible for collecting the tree's measurements. When determining a champion tree, three of the tree's aspects are taken into consideration -- circumference, height, and crown spread. The formula used to determine the size of a tree is as follows: one point for each inch of circumference, plus one point for each foot of height, as well as one point for each four feet of the average crown spread.

Once a new champion is identified, both its owner and nominator receive certificates. The nominator is also presented with a permanent tree marker by AFC county personnel which is to be placed in proximity to the base of the tree.

To learn more about the Champion Tree Program, or for more information about the Alabama Forestry Commission, visit www.forestry.alabama.gov or contact your county AFC office.

Click Here For List of Alabama Champion Trees

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