The Arkansas Forestry Commission, Dardanelle Tree Board and City of Dardanelle hosted the unveiling of the Arkansas White Oak Champion Tree marker Thursday, May 26, 2011, at Council Oaks Park on North Front Street in Dardanelle.
The marker is one of three that have been placed in Dardanelle. The others include the Arkansas State Champion Eastern Cottonwood and National and Arkansas State Champion Persimmon. Funding for the markers was made possible through a $5,500 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 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.” Arkansas has 125 trees designated as a champion or co-champion of its species. Out of the 125, six Champion Trees are located within Dardanelle City limits – a Northern Catalpa, Eastern Cottonwood, Black Hickory, Southern Magnolia, White Oak and Persimmon. A full list of Arkansas State Champion Trees can be found online at http://www.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 http://www.americanforests.org/resources/bigtrees/.