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.

This American Beech is the only remaining remnant beech of the original beech grove that witnessed the famous wedding of Alvin C. York and his childhood sweetheart, Gracie Williams, on June 7, 1919.  The beech grove overlooked the York family farm in the Valley of the Three Forks of the Wolf River in Pall Mall, Tennessee.  The Governor of Tennessee, A.H Roberts performed the wedding in front of a crowd of hundreds, many of them traveling two days or more to witness the famous event.  The ceremony was held on a series of rock ledges that formed a spacious amphitheater and was surrounded by large beech trees.


Alvin C. York was one of America’s most celebrated military heroes for capturing 132 German soldiers in the Argonne Forest of France on October 18, 1918 during World War l.  He received more than forty Allied decorations, including the Congressional Medal of Honor and the French Croix de Guerre.  When he returned home to his family farm he was a national hero and one of Tennessee’s best loved sons.


The beech tree is:

Diameter:  35 inches

Height:  87 feet

Average Crown spread:  65 feet

Nomination by the Tennessee Urban Forestry Council.  Alvin C. York Wedding 

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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