New champion Paulownia in Philly found
While remeasuring trees in Philly today I stumbled upon this new state champion hiding in plain sight. I was in town to officially measure a new tree of heaven, Ailanthus altissima, that was reported. It turned out to be a weed tree day, as the tree of heaven also became the new state champion. One tree in Bucks is listed larger, but it is a multi stemmed tree. the new tree is a nice single stem. Enjoy! get out there and find some, it's easy. You just have to put down your phone!!
website is up again
The email issue has been resolved. If you tried to contact me over the last year, it never made it through. All nominations in that time period were lost as well. Please resubmit. My apologies, again.
Also looking for a new coordinator of the program. Please contact me for details. Scott
website issues continue
Currently the nomination form is not transmitting electronically as it should. I am working on this. Please send nomination information to the email list for sending in photographs at the bottom of the nomination page. Sorry for the inconvenience. Scott
New species added to the list
I recently added Buxus sempervirens var. arborescens to the list. I have posted a couple I found to get us started. Typically found at old home sites it differs from the shrub form by maintaining a fairly large single trunk. Happy hunting for Tree box!
John "Jack" Peters
Champion trees have lost an advocate. Recently John "Jack" Peters passed away. He was a big tree hunter long before I ever even heard of the hobby. He helped me get the ball rolling again back in 2005 with copious lists of data and directions to some lost trees. A member of PFA, a veteran and family man he is sorely missed.
update to the website
I am still seeking a new server for the website. In the mean time I have added several trees that were nominated over the last year. Thank you for your patience.
seeking a new server
Activity on this website is currently suspended as I look for a new home for the site. We can still accept nominations and remeasures, but data will not be uploaded until a new server is found. If anyone knows of a cost effective server provider, or a free one, please contact me through the website.
updating the website
After over a year, I am now updating the website. I apologize for the delay. The program has become very popular. So popular that I have had to establish minimums for some trees. A minimum of 300 points is now required for native shade trees. This includes oak, ash, sycamore and the like. Some exceptions will be made for counties with few trees listed. I will make the decision as the trees come in. I will also save smaller nominations for the future, they just won't be posted.
I still have books left, and they make nice holiday gifts for friends or customers. Buy ten or more and get them for $7.50 each.
I recently aquired a 1979 edition of the big tree list. If you have older editions that I may not have, I am interested in purchasing them. Scott
Spring is around the corner
With spring approaching, I would like to challenge all Champion tree tenders to get out and visit your trees. I would love updated pictures and or measurements. I know Bucks county is busy doing a sweep of their county to find whatever they can. I can't wait to see there results. Berks county is up to date. There is nothing better than getting out in the spring air and getting close to a tree.
I was recently given the position of Curator of the Pierce collection at Longwood Gardens. This collection includes the trees planted before 1880. I am very excited to dig into the collection and learn all I can about the history of these great old trees. Hopefully it won't take up too much of my champion tree time. Scott
pic of Rana sylvatica, the wood frog. A sure sign of spring! ( I know, taken in the fall a while ago)
I have opened an instagram account under the title Pabigtrees Follow me if you like. The app is free for your phone. If you follow me, I will follow you. Also look for hash tags of #pabigtrees # bigtrees #championtrees and I have put other hash tags up for trees in their latin names. Enjoy! Image below is the past champion ginkgo in Philadelphia with me doing a Cpt Morgan pose!
Also follow Longwoodgardens on instagram to see what I do in my spare time at work!
The Barnes Foundation
You may know of the Barnes Foundation as a place to view art and paintings. It recently moved it's collection to Philadelphia. DO NOT forget about the Lower Merion location though. Yesterday we found 18 new champion trees. Yes, 18!! and we didn't even get through the entire collection, OF TREES that is. This is a most wonderful arboretum, and should be open soon as such. They have many rare specimens to include the largest MOnkey puzzle tree I have ever seen this far north, a coastal redwood (not to be confused with the Giant Sequoia) and a new champion water oak. The list goes on. Be sure to keep it on your short list of places to visit to see champion trees. Scott
Thought I'd try a special for the holidays. Purchase a copy of Pa Big trees for the tree lover on your list and receive a discount. Mention code CB12 to receive three dollars off each copy you buy between now and New Years day. Buy five copies at once and only pay for four. Remember to note CB12 to receive the discount. Happy Holidays, Scott
Hurricane Sandy, and updates
Boy have I been lazy, I apologize. Last night I posted at least twenty new trees that had piled up. I am sorry about that. I have taken on a third day of work at Longwood and the two days I have left fill up quick.
Hurricane Sandy has taken two trees from our list that I know about. One was a Penn Charter Oak on Grassmere in Bala Cynwyd. The other was the State champion Pin oak up at Silver Lake Natural area. Sorry to see those two go.
Please report any other losses to me when you can. Scott
below is a Catalpa that was sent in recently. Enjoy.
Rough Summer! Sorry I haven't posted much
Summer is now over and the kids are back to school. Trees take priority again! I have added images of many rare trees from Longwood Gardens and will be updating the website fully, soon. Thank you for all of your submissions. They will be posted shortly.
The new book is still available, email or paypal me if you need a copy. Thanks, Scott
big tree for sale!
Anyone interested in the second place and past champion Penn Charter Swamp White Oak in Luzerne co.? It has been forclosed and is for sale by the bank. address is 170 Owen St. Swoyersville. The tree is in a high risk situation, as the relator said they might consider cutting it down due to it's proximity to the house!!!
Check out this blog on the big trees of Philadelphia
Philadelphia is a great spot to find big trees. Nicole shows you how. You can also sort by county on the web page by clicking the column heading. Sort for your county to see how many trees there are near you!!
spring has sprung, early!
Time to get out there and remeasure your champion! We would love updated photos of any tree you visit. Remember to ask permission, most people love to talk about their trees.
I will be updating the database soon with even more trees from Longwood Gardens. They now have a self guided champion tree tour with informational signs, QR codes, and cell phone talks about the trees. Check it out, things are popping out there now with this weather.
I also have some trees sent in to post, so stay tuned.
Read about me, of all people, on American Forests state coordinator of the month page http://www.americanforests.org/our-programs/bigtree/coordinator-of-month/pennsylvania/
New features added to the website
Please notice our new features added recently. We now have a Paypal button for purchasing the new register. It is located on the lower right of our home page.
We have also added a new list of the tallest trees in the state. Trees accepted to this list MUST be measured with the ENTS, laser/clinometer method to be valid. The list is populated right now for testing, and will be cleaned up soon.
We have also identified some trees as Multistemmed. This appears in the upper right corner of the individual tree page. Multistemmed trees are trees branching into co-dominant stems below 4.5'. Please celebrate the largest of the single stems along with the largest of the multistemmed trees. Other identifiers are Penn Charter tree (believed to be 325 years old), and national champion (largest in the country) Enjoy!
back issues still available
We still have back issues of the register for sale if anyone is interested. I have (1) copy of the 1993 issue and several of the 2006 issue. Only $10 shipped each. Thanks, Scott
You can place your order here
A couple of Penn Charter trees found recently
The other day I went searching for Penn Charter trees from the 1982 book "Penn's Woods" I wanted to see if I could find the Pusey Oak and the Strawbridge Oak in S. Chester Co. I found the Pusey oak (named after Caleb Pusey) fairly easily, but it had been badly damaged in a storm this fall. A shame. The Strawbride Oak (Strawbridge and Clothier) was gone! as it fell victim to a lightning strike years ago as per a neighbor. Not all was lost, as I found a huge sycamore on the same property. The house it shades dates to 1729, and the sycamore could very well be that old. A great day of tree hunting.
Yesterday I stopped to see a recent nomination at the Concord Friends Meeting of Basswood. Funny thing is I looked for trees here a couple of years ago when someone told me about a big Franklin tree out front. I somehow missed this second place tree.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays
I hope everyone has a nice holiday season. Thank you for the support thus far in purchasing the 2011 Big Trees Book. They are flying off the shelf. You can find the book for sale at Longwood Gardens, Tyler Arboretum, The Reading Museum and Morris Arboretum. They make a great gift at any time! Only $15 with eleven of that going to support this program directly. No CEOs or overhead here! Thanks Scott
Below is an Osage Orange from White Clay Creek Preserve in southern Chester county, recently nominated
The 125th anniversary edition is now available!!
Available for purchase at $15, the new 2011 register celebrating our 125th anniversary is finally available. Contact Scott at firstname.lastname@example.org to get your copy, or mail $15 to 5 Prince Eugene Ln, Media Pa 19063. Shipping is included. Remember, this is our only fundraiser to keep the program alive. We are unsupported financially and need your support to keep the website up. Any proceeds benefit the Pennsylvania Forestry Assoc. Thank you! Scott
Trees lost in Irene.
So far we have lost two trees to the hurricane. A Bur oak in Delaware county at Shemin Landscape supply, and the Lafayette Sycamore was badly damaged at Valley Forge Park. Just before the storm we lost the Champion willow oak. A sad week. We are attempting to collect ring counts from the trees, and will update you later.
125th anniversary edition is soon available
The new edition is being printed as we speak. Please support the program with your purchase of a copy. The cost will be $15 and $10 of each purchase goes directly to the program. This supports the updating of the trees and the discovey of new trees,including the printing of the next edition.
Purple boxes and your ash trees
Some press has come out on the purple boxes springing up along our roadways this summer. The state is trying to see how far a little asian beetle, called Emerld Ash Borer, has traveled since last season. What does this mean to you? If you own an ash tree of any species, you may lose your tree to this insect. I won't go into details about the bug, as you can search the internet easily and find all you need to know. What I can offer is a simple preventitive measure to protect your trees with out too much expense. At your local garden supply shop ask for a bag of Japanese Beetle grub control for lawns in a granular fertilizer base formulation. The insecticide in the bag should be Merit (chemical name imidicloprid) The grub control must have this listed as the active ingredient or it will not protect your tree. On the bag it will tell you application rates for ornamentals/trees. Apply the grub control at the given rate in the drip zone of the tree. A drip zone is the area of lawn or bed space under the tree from leaf tip to leaf tip, or the shadow of the tree at or near noon. Next, water the area avoiding runoff of the water for a few days to activate the chemical. The chemical will travel into the soil and then into the tree (and any other plant)the chemical will go into the sap and go throughout the tree. When Mr. beetle takes his first bite, he will die. This treatment can last about 1-2 years. Most tree companies suggest treating once a year to be sure. This treatment works for wooly adelgid on Hemlocks too. I have gone two years now and my Hemlocks are still clean. One note on hemlocks is the mites that are in the hemlocks will become really active after treatment, and you will notice needle drop shortly thereafter. This only happens once in my experiment, and the tree will be free of adelgids for several years. Once the adelgids return and reach a threshold that is detremental to the tree, treat again. Feel free to contact your local service forester for additional help fighting this new pest.
Inching closer to the new edition
A big thank you to Longwood Gardens and Bartlett Tree Experts for their support of the Champion tree program. They are our sponsors for the 2011 edition of Big Trees of Pennsylvania, coming soon.
We are still in need of county volunteers to help manage the tree database. It has grown over the years to the point where one person can't handle it all. So far Jim Smoker has taken Berks Co. and Jim Mulkey has offered to help in Delaware Co, and Philadelphia Co. Be a Champion Tree Tender!
Today I added 42 more trees from Longwood Gardens. Longwood is by far the location with the most Champion trees in the state. They have also developed tours to see these particular trees. Inquire at the front desk, or online. Definitely the place for the Arborphile!
Help us correct the website
Have you found an error on a page or an incorrect picture assigned to a tree? Help us out by contacting us through the webpage, or email me at email@example.com. After the big overhaul, some entries were made incorrectly. OR is there a tree listed that is dead or removed? We want to know. While you are at it, find a tree near you and take a picture and measure the trunk for us. EVERYTHING is helpful.
Welcome to Jim Smoker who has volunteered to be the big tree tender for Berks Co. Thanks Jim!
Happy New Year
2011 brings us to a milestone. The Pennsylvania Forestry Assoc. is 125 years old!! It is hard to believe that anyone was thinking green that long ago. We are just about finished with the 2011 register, and should be going to the printer soon. We look forward to your continued support.
The sacred oak of the Oley valley for sale!
News today is that the Chinkapin oak in Berks county, one of our oldest champions, nominated in 1940, is going up for Sheriff's sale. For under 300 thousand you can own this awesome tree! It comes with a house, barn and 93 acres of awesome farmland too! Anyone out there that can preserve this tree for eternity? I am short on cash, or I would jump on it.
Welcome to the new Pa Big Trees Website. Please enjoy the searchable database, a new feature. I am beginning to add trees that were received during the development process. I hope to have them uploaded in the next week or so.
Volunteer to help in your county by contacting me. I am looking for Big tree tenders to keep track of the listed trees in each county. It doesn't take much time. Trees are to be measured and photographed every three to five years to remian current.
Thank you, Scott
The New Website
We are in the process of creating a new website for the home of Pa Big Trees. The new site will be searchable and not have any of the bugs from the previous software. Thank you for your donations. Those wishing to support the program further may donate any amount to the Pennsylvania Forestry Assoc. earmarked for the champion tree program. Thank you.