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.

Rhea Water Oak

The Water Oak (Quercus nigra) is known by a variety of common names, including Duck Oak, Possum Oak, and Spotted Oak.  As a native species it prefers bottomlands and moist sites, regularly producing copious quantities of small acorns, thus its common name, "Duck oak."  Its native range is the southeastern U.S.   Due to its rapid growth, small yet attractive leaves, and handsome form, it has been widely planted as an ornamental.   
The featured tree is listed as the Tennessee State Champion for its species.  It is owned by Jourdan & Carey Rhea of LaGrange, Tennessee.  Gracing the driveway and front lawn of their home, it provides a natural "image entrance."  The couple's children enjoy "mountain climbing" upon its massive roots.
Seven feet above average ground level, the girth of the gargantuan is 20' 8"; it stands 91' tall, and has a crown of branches 122' in diameter.   Historical photos show the tree circa 1900 with a 3' diameter trunk, and already beginning to uproot the adjoining sidewalk.  Like gravity, always pulling, this old tree draws a new generation of tree lovers.  It is a green beacon calling, "Summer is here...come visit me."
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  • Majestic shelter and shade for generations. Thanks for sharing and preserving this inspiring, living creation.
  • Beautiful picture; it captures enjoying lazy summer days.

  • Enchanting
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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