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Thanks to some industrious, committed members of the Baltimore City Forestry Board, and MD Big Trees Coordinator(s) John Bennett and Joli McCathran, we have made big progress in identifying new city and state champions and their runners up during the spring, summer, fall 2017 season. These champs were located in public parks, street right of ways, and college campuses. Some of these include the Ginkgo in Evesham park, the Bald Cypress in Clifton park, the Tulip Tree in Wyman Park, a Northern Red Oak along Lawina Drive in Forest Park, and the Overcup Oak near the Clifton Mansion.


In order to achieve status as a champion tree, the tree must meet several requirements. Firstly, the tree must be on public land, or else the big tree hunters must obtain a signed copy of the private property liability release form (found at http://mdbigtrees.com/). Many landowners are excited to participate when they know that their property could hold the next champion of a given tree species. After John collects a stack of tree nomination forms and private property permission forms, the group decides on a route for the day, selecting parks and tree lined corridors or other specific locations harboring large trees. Driving to the site, a team of about four people are gathered around the tree in question. How do they measure a tree for scoring? They must take three types of tree measurements: 1) tree height, 2) tree trunk circumference at breast height, 3) and average crown spread. Tree trunk circumference is weighted heavily in the scoring system, so John recommends using this sole measurement to get a quick idea of how a tree stacks up to its arborly neighbors. Once you have a circumference measurement, visit MDBigTrees website to compare. If you didnt have a specific tree in mind, but were interested in developing this list further, you should visit this link for a list of newly discovered champs and a list of tree species that need champ status in Baltimore City. This list was generated by the City Forestry Board. If you need help in the identification of a potential champion / notable tree
and in the application process, you may contact Ray Iturralde at caddri@yahoo.com. or contact MD Big Tree coordinator, John Bennett, at mdbigtreeprogram@aol.com.

Sometimes nominated trees are not all that large. There are certain species of trees that are just establishing in Piedmont Maryland, out of their normal range. For instance, Live Oak, or Quercus virginiana, in Bolton Hill was nominated and eventually found to be a new City Champion scoring 36 points!

Ray and Fred standing proudly beneath the Southern Live Oak City Champ (36 points) in Bolton Hill.