PCSWCD and SWOAM host Biggest Tree Contest

    DOVER-FOXCROFT — The Piscataquis County Soil and Water Conservation District (PCSWCD) and the Central Maine Chapter of the Small Woodland Owners Association of Maine (SWOAM) are hosting a Biggest Tree Contest in partnership with Maine Forest Service and Project Canopy. We are looking for residents to nominate big native Maine trees in Piscataquis County that could potentially qualify as the biggest of a species in the county and be classified as a county champion or possibly a state or national champion.

    Any trees that are determined as Big Tree champions will be published in newspapers and the Maine Forest Service, Project Canopy and PCSWCD websites and newsletters, along with the nominee’s name and a photo of the winning tree. State Big Tree champions will be submitted to the Maine Forest Service for publishing in the Native Maine Trees Registry. The PCSWCD will present all winning nominees of county, state and national champion trees with a certificate and a prize.
    The call to search for America’s biggest trees first came in the September 1940 issue of “American Forests” magazine, where concerned forester Joseph Sterns published his article “Let’s Find and Save the Biggest Trees.” Sterns wasn’t referring to the famous and historic trees that were already protected, but the giants left standing in virgin forests. Maine’s Biggest Tree Contest was started in 1968 to raise awareness of trees’ roles in the forest ecosystem. Recently a 95-foot-tall American Chestnut Tree was found in Hebron in Oxford County and declared both a state and national champion.
    You can find a list of trees native to Maine on page 5 of the PDF document located on this webpage Everyone is welcome and encouraged to nominate a tree. If the tree is located on another landowner’s property, we request that you first ask permission from the landowner before submitting the nomination. We encourage landowners, families and civic groups to have fun with this contest and to consider getting youth involved.
    You can nominate a tree by submitting a nomination form to the PCSWCD office. Once the PCSWCD has received the nomination form, and it has been determined that the tree is a potential champion, a forester will be sent out to the location, so that measurements can be verified and officially recorded. All nominations must be submitted to the PCSWCD starting July 15 and no later than Oct. 31.
    For more information about the contest, and to request a form and guidelines,  contact the PCSWCD at 564-2321 ext. 3, by e-mailing, or by stopping in the office in the USDA Service Center, 42 Engdahl Drive, Dover-Foxcroft, ME 04426.

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