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! 

Arkansas Champion Sand Post Oak

 

Species: Quercuz Stellata Var. Margaretta

Location: Clark County Arkansas, Near Gum Springs

Circumference: 125 inches

Crown Spread: 88 ft 

Height: 70 ft

The Sand Post oak is usually a small to medium, scrubby, deciduous tree topping at an average height between 20 and 30 feet, however this PAIR of Quercus margaretta has dominated this street corner for over a hundred years. A small barn is nestled beneath these towering giants, no doubt these massive beings already shaded the area tempting the farmer to build there, under their watchful gaze.

Sand Post Oak trees provide valuable resources to many wildlife species. Birds and mammals use cavities as nesting and resting sites. As the trees age into maturity they begin producing acorns, however this species has been known to reach ages of 20 and 30 years before producing. White-tailed deer, wild turkey, squirrels and various other rodents depend on the soft mast of their acorns, however these same acorns are poisonous to some domestic livestock (goats, cattle, and sheep).

While the wood is highly resistant to disease and insects due to the increased tannins, the tree is not considered to produce good timber. This fact appears to have saved this pair from being milled into mining timbers, railroad ties, flooring, siding, or mulch (which as common uses for the Post Oak Species as a whole).

 

Nominated by Regine Skelton

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