Ala's 2009 Champion Trees named

2009 Winner: The Common Hackberry
2009 Winner: The Common Hackberry

Posted by: John Shryock - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - When is a tree not just a tree? When the Alabama Forestry Commission names it a Champion Tree!

Several tree owners will soon receive certificates and a permanent tree marker to commemorate their 'top timbers'.

Sixty-four nominations were submitted from all corners of the state for the Champion Trees 2009 program and 24 of those submissions were verified as champs.

So how do you tell a champ tree from a plain pine tree? The designation is made based on three components: circumference, height and crown spread. For a tree to be eligible it must also be a species native or naturalized to Alabama.

The whole purpose of the program is to discover, recognize and preserve the largest of each tree species in Alabama.  Fifteen of this year's winners filled open spaces in tree types that didn't have a champion. The other nine eclipsed 2008 champions as the biggest in their species.

Anyone can nominate a tree for the program, but it's up to an AFC forester to collect the different measurements.

Here's a list of this year's winner:

Tree Species County
American Smoketree         Madison           
Atlantic White Cedar Baldwin 
Black Cherry  Madison           
American Chestnut Talladega
Pond Cypress Baldwin 
Flowering Dogwood Cleburne  
Fringe-tree     Baldwin
Common Hackberry          


Littlehip Hawthorn     DeKalb   
Nutmeg Hickory  Dallas  
Honey Locust Talladega  
Red Maple Morgan  
Red Mulberry Choctaw
Chinkapin Oak Lawrence 
Darlington Oak Hale 
Norther Red Oak Marion   
Scarlet Oak Jackson
Scarlet Oak
Virginia Pine DeKalb
Downy Serviceberry DeKalb
Sourwood Marion 
Sweetleaf Marion 
Sycamore Autauga
Black Willow Perry

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