Friday, September 24, 2010

What it takes to be a champion

They don't call a tree a champion just because it has beautiful gnarly bark and limbs, although that would be fine in my book, and this 98-year-old Kansas Hawthorn at Brooklyn Botanic would certainly qualify. They do call a tree a champion if it is the largest recorded of its species based on a formula that considers the height, circumference and crown spread of the tree. In New York State this Crataegus coccinoides at Brooklyn Botanic is king and though still a small tree, it is listed in the New York State Big Tree Register. Though the species is described as only growing to about 20 feet, the one behind the annual border at Brooklyn Botanic is over 30 feet tall. That's pretty impressive for a tree growing in what used to be an ash dump. I'm not sure if it's been nominated for the National Registry, but from the numbers it looks like it would beat out the current National Champion of its species growing in the Morton Arboretum in Illinois.

No comments: