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.

Pentz Sweet Pecan

The Pecan (Carya illinoensis), also known as Sweet Pecan or Softshell Hickory, is an important species to wildlife, and is well known as a dainty for human consumption.  The species ranges over much of the lower Mississippi River drainage and is ubiquitous in Louisiana and eastern Texas.  Native Americans gathered the tasty nuts each fall and made special treks to reach selected groves of the trees.   

The featured tree shades the entire backyard of Mr. Simon Pentz of Somerville, Tennessee.  It is graceful in its symmetry, with long pendulous branches.   The owner's family enjoys special times together in its shade.  The tree has been nominated to the Tenn. Big Tree Register, and what a giant it is.  Its height is 101', the behemoth trunk is 20' 4" in girth, and the crown spreads in a perfect umbrella for 138 ft.  Four trees of its size would shade over an acre of ground.  Local history suggests that the tree is over 150 years old, perhaps growing since before the settlement of western Tenn.   This tree continues to delight and is truly emblematic of summer fun for the family.

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  • What a productive and beautiful life which inspires, feeds and shades! Thankfully no one in the past felt compelled to shove it to the ground in pursuit of mediocrity at majesty's expense.
  • An amazing tree that beautifully captures the Summer in the South!!!

  • Wonderfully inviting tree for young and old!
  • Ohh to be sitting under this huge Pecan sippin on sweet tea! This mighty Monarch reminds me of a great song lyric!

    They say the Pecans are just too lofty
    And they grab up all the light
    But the Pecans can't help their feelings
    If they like the way they're made
    And they wonder why the saplings
    Can't be happy in their shade?

  • Beautiful. Absolutely amazing.
  • Wish I had a tree like that in my yard
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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