The Arkansas Forestry Commission, Batesville Tree Board and City of Batesville hosted the unveiling of the Arkansas Chinkapin Oak Champion Tree marker Thursday at Riverside Park in Batesville.
Funding for the markers was made possible through a grant from a Ross Foundation philanthropic grant. Purchase of the markers was coordinated through the Arkansas Forestry Association, a
non-profit organization representing forest industry and private forest landowners. The stones were cut and bronze plaques placed by a worker from Garvan Woodland Gardens in Hot Springs.
The Arkansas Champion Tree List is maintained by the Arkansas Forestry Commission. It recognizes those trees that are the largest of the species, by using the American Forests’ “Bigness
Index.” The Chinkapin Oak, Quercus muehlenbergii, has a circumference of 212 inches, a crown spread of 117 feet and a vertical height of 102 feet, resulting in a bigness index of 343.
Arkansas has 125 trees designated as a champion or co-champion of its species. A full list of Arkansas State Champion Trees can be found online at arkansasforestry.org/education/arkansaschampiontrees.html.
The National Register of Big Trees is the official publication that recognizes more than 800 of the largest native and naturalized tree species in the United States. It is maintained by American Forests’ National Big Tree Program whose goal is to preserve and promote the iconic stature of these trees. Two National Champions can be found in Arkansas – the Persimmon in Dardanelle and Shortleaf Pine in Ashley County. The National Register of Big Trees 2010 can be found online at www.americanforests.org/resources/bigtrees/.
For more information about the Arkansas Champion Tree Program, please contact Christina Fowler at (501) 296-1937 or visit www.arkansasforestry.org.