Great American Tree 2017

2017 Great American Tree

This year’s Great American Tree competition had 30 charming nominations, all who uniquely defined what it means to be a summer tree. Our top five trees with the most member votes were Memorable Magnoila, Rhea Water Oak, White Oak of Tennessee, Pentz Pecan, and Magnolia Macrophylla.

Thanks to all the tree-enthusiast throughout our nation who contributed entries to our 3nd annual competition. Your participation is important to our organization dedicated to flourishing urban forests.

Click a photo below to learn more about each unique entry.

Ames E. Redcedar

The featured tree, an Eastern Redcedar (Juniperus virginiana), is located near Grand Junction, Tennessee, upon the grounds of the Ames Plantation, a historic working farm, today operated by the Univ. of Tennessee.  The land base was once owned by the Massachusetts industrialist, Hobart Ames, and his wife, Julia.  About 1895, the couple acquired the land as a "winter retreat."  Today the productive land base supports forestry research, agriculture, and wildlife.   

As a species, Eastern Redcedar is common over much of the eastern U.S.   It has had many uses from fence posts to wardrobe closets.  Its most renowned use has been - pencils, hence one of its common names "Pencil Cedar," though also called "Red Juniper."  Growing near the Birddog kennels and stable that Mr. Ames started, the featured tree stands 70' tall.  It is believed to be 200 years old and its furrowed trunk is 15' 10" in girth.  On hot afternoons, it shades visitors using the western entrance.   It is a 'Summer Sentinel," and worthy to be called The Great American Tree.

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First Place goes to Pentz Pecan (or softshell hickory) from Sommerville, Tennessee. 

2nd place goes to Magnolia Macrophylla from Woodland's garden in Atlanta Georgia

3rd place awarded to a Tennessee White Oak