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.

These trees will be ranked by our all-star urban forestry panel. Our winner will be annouced on July 4th!

Top Three Member Voted Trees

The Cottonwood Trees that Charles “Pa” Ingalls planted is submitted by the Laura Ingalls Wilder Memorial Society. There is a small town in South Dakota where the pages of the famous “Little House” books come to life. Popular children’s author, Laura Ingalls Wilder, describes her family’s travels west and her childhood in the “Little Town on the Prairie,” otherwise known as De Smet, South Dakota.

In 1880, Charles Ingalls filed for a homestead claim one mile southeast of De Smet, Dakota Territory. That spring the Ingalls family moved out to the 160-acre homestead and built a small claim shanty. Not long after, “Pa” planted five cottonwood trees, one for his wife, Caroline, and his four daughters Mary, Laura, Carrie and Grace.

Today, visitors from around the world come to De Smet to see the original homes and cottonwood trees of the Ingalls family.

The five Populus deltoides aka cottonwoods are located on the first acre of the Ingalls Homestead at the corner of 208th St. and Homestead Rd (44°22'07.1"N 97°32'29.5"W).

Listed below are the estimated height and diameter of the five cottonwood trees as measured by Jon Livermore, an urban forester in Watertown, SD.

1- 60ft tall and diameter of 58.5 inches

2- 61ft tall and diameter of 44 inches

3- 68ft tall and diameter of 38 inches

4- 65ft tall and diameter of 44.5 inches

5- 60ft tall and diameter of 43.5 inches


Nominated by: Tessa Flak

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Winner announced on July 4th!

GRAND PRIZE: 500$

SECOND PLACE: 250$

THIRD PLACE: 100$