Our 5th annual Great American Tree compeition received 25 nominations! We have tallied over 6,000 votes on outstanding trees that each uniquely represent our nation's beautiful and diverse canopy. Our top 3 trees with the most member votes are (in no particular order): Quamal the douglas fir, Rosa the ponderosa pine, and the cottonwood trees.

The 2019 Great American Tree is... Rosa the Ponderosa Pine of the Black Hills of South Dakota! This tree embodies the American spirit with her resilience and stature. She is a testament to the ever-lasting legacy trees can leave on their community. Rosa has overcome many environmental changes and challenges throughout her 738 years. This tree has stood tall after a lightning strike, bug infestations and the consequences of climate change. Her adaptations and resilience have taught scientists many things about landscape changes in her community. "We have a lot to learn from this great American tree that has been there through all of our histories as a Nation and for so much of history of the Black Hills." Nominated by Rachel Ormseth and Frank Carroll. More here.

We are also happy to announce the cottonwood trees planted by "Pa" Ingalls as our first runner up! These five trees have rich historic roots in South Dakota. More here.

Quamal, one of the world's largest known Douglas firs in the Olympic National Forest in Washington state, is our second runner up. More here

Thanks for your participation in the Great American Tree Competition!

This ponderosa pine is growing at Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument off the Lava Flow Trail. This National Monument is located north of Flagstaff, Arizona. You can tell the original tree died and a lower branch took over dominance. The amount of holding wood and compression wood is amazing. There is decay in the original stem so eventually, the attachment will fail. Until then, we can enjoy the tenacity and beauty of this tree that is growing in a lava field!

When I consider how old this tree may be, I think about how tough the soil conditions are, at the base of Sunset Crater Volcano, with the soil being primarily lava rock. How long did it take the original tree leader to grow to that size? Then to consider how long it took for the side branch to grow this large? This tree must be very old!

I did not measure this tree, I would guess the height is 20-30 feet tall, DBH... 28-30 inches.

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2019's Great American Tree is.. Rosa the ponderosa pine! Read more about her here.

Winner announced on July 4th!