2018's Great American Tree Competition

Announcing 2018's Great American Tree

The Lone Hill United Methodist Church National Champion Eastern Redcedar (Juniperus virginiana), has planted a legacy upon the residents of Coffee County, Georgia and within the hearts of American Grove members.

2018’s Great American Tree, the Lone Hill United Methodist Church National Champion Eastern Redcedar, is as strong as it is sturdy, lifting the spirits of those who have come into contact with its encompassing stature in the cemetery that traces its history to it first known burial in 1848.

Through the years the tree has been featured in such varied publications as the Douglas EnterpriseSmithsonian magazine, Janisse Ray’s book Wild Card Quilt, and the Coffee Historical Society’s Coffee Chronicles. Those visiting will witness a majestic tree that has nurtured and sheltered generations of the faithful. 

Recent measurements re-affirmed this Eastern Redcedar’s stature as a National Champion.  The circumference of the trunk is 251 inches, its height is 56 feet, and the crown exceeds 88 feet. The estimated age is approximately 250 years old.

This humbling giant remains immortal to those who have had the pleasure to stumble across it. Standing under its shade, there is a calm and somber atmosphere while providing comfort to those who need it most. This tree is more than just a community member, it is a family member for those who have loved ones resting in Coffee County. 

All submissions received in our 2018 Great American Tree Competition, from the youngest sapling to decade old oaks, aid in the celebration of our nation’s diversity of trees. Each of the 15 submissions represents the American Grove motto "Plant Your Legacy." Click a photo entry below to learn more! 

"The Knight Oak"

Species:  Live Oak (Quercus virginiana)

Location: Tampa, Florida

Height:  47’

Circumference:  20’

Spread:  N/S: 126’  E/W: 111’

 

The City of Tampa’s Planning and Urban Design Division is nominating the “Knight Oak” located on property located at 1203 E. 22nd Avenue in  Tampa Florida. The tree is located on a site that has earned a place on the National Register of Historic Places known as The Home Association.  The property was dedicated in 1924 to The Home Association by Peter O. Knight.  The tree named in honor of the Knight family, measures 75 inches in diameter and is possibly one of the oldest living trees in Tampa, Florida. This magnificent tree is a live oak (Quercus virginiana) and has characteristics that are true to form, with branches that touch the ground and an average canopy that sprawls up to 59 ft from trunk to edge of canopy.

 

The site includes Sarah Knight Park, named for Knight’s mother, and features a grove of oak trees which includes the Knight Oak.    Peter O. Knight is a historical figure who served in the military and became one of the great leaders of Tampa. It is fitting that we honor his namesake for nominating this magnificent oak.

 

This tree deserves to be nominated because of this historical significance and relevance to the spirit of the Great American Tree.   Despite being in a thriving and bustling urban landscape, this veteran tree has survived among a grove of live oaks, in an urbanizing neighborhood. 

Additional information:

 

This historic site was formerly called the “Old People’s Home Association” when the facility was founded in 1899, when three elderly Jacksonville women traveling in Tampa were stranded and quarantined during a yellow fever scare. Later, it was called “The Old Ladies’ Home” for its mission to care for elderly women. To attract needed funding, it included men in its mission and became the Old People’s Home Association. The Knight Oak has been estimated to have been a specimen before the origin of this facility.

 

 

Coordinates:

27.971223, -82.446592

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