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New State Champion Tree Discovered At Rocks State Park

Harford County, Md. (September 26, 2011) - A new Maryland State Champion Bigtooth Aspen, or Populus grandidentata, was discovered and measured September 20 at Rocks State Park in Harford County by Dan Wilson, a volunteer with the Maryland Big Tree Program (MBTP).

The tree is located along the "white" trail of Rocks State Park, about 300 feet from Chrome Hill Road. It has a circumference of 6 feet 5 inches, a height of 121 feet and an average crown spread of 45.5 feet. Its total point value is 209. The previous champion, which is privately owned in Washington County, had a point value of 200.

Bigtooth aspens do not grow very large in Maryland as the hardwoods like oak, yellow poplar and sycamore will crowd them out. However in colder climates, where hardwood growth is limited, they can get much larger. The current U.S. Champion is in Maine at 275 points. The Maryland tree is the second tallest in the U.S., exceeded only by the Minnesota State Champion at 123 feet.

The Big Tree Program originated in Maryland in 1925, went national in 1940, and is run by American Forests. Each state has a coordinator who collects data, measures trees, and biannually submits certain trees to American Forests as potential National Champions. For more information, visit dnr.state.md.us/forests/trees/bigtree.asp.

The universal ‘point’ system was developed by Maryland’s first State Forester, Fred Besley. The formula is: circumference in inches + height in feet + one fourth of the average crown spread in feet.


   September 26, 2011

Contact: Josh Davidsburg
410-260-8002 office I 410-507-7526 cell
jdavidsburg@dnr.state.md.us

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages nearly a half-million acres of public lands and 17,000 miles of waterways, along with Maryland's forests, fisheries and wildlife for maximum environmental, economic and quality of life benefits. A national leader in land conservation, DNR-managed parks and natural, historic and cultural resources attract 11 million visitors annually. DNR is the lead agency in Maryland's effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, the state's number one environmental priority. Learn more at www.dnr.maryland.gov