Northwest Native Named National Champion Tree

Northwest Native Named National Champion Tree

Its canopy expands across the moonlit sky as intertwining branches cast faint, intricate, silhouetted designs upon the earth below. The very tips of its crown reach high into the air as if the sun had been present for hours; but instead, darkness ensues more than half of the day.

Just a few years ago, the champion Kenai birch tree caught the attention of a group of fourth, fifth and sixth grade students from the Kaleidoscope School of Arts & Sciences, a public elementary charter school in the village of Kenai, Alaska, where instructors help develop students' academic and life skills.

Nominating a champion-sized tree is one hands-on experience the students will likely never forget. Now, thanks to their elementary-aged opinions, the impressive Kenai birch tree is famous for its outstanding features and sheer size.

This champion tree's structure, measuring 37 feet from base to tree top and 43 feet across its reaching crown, represents the largest of Kenai birch trees--and stands, fittingly, in Kenai. At 76 inches around, its trunk boasts the stability to support the champion Kenai birch during the region's most severe wintry weather, from chilling temperatures and extreme wind chills to snow accumulation.

Native to Western Canada and Alaska, the Kenai birch thrives at altitudes as low as sea level, particularly in the moist soils it prefers. Although the species harvests close-grained, light, strong wood for fuel and kindling, its unique visual features capture the admiration and attention of natives; the Kenai birch's white bark, slightly tinged orange or brown, differentiates the species among others standing in its presence.

But the special champion Kenai birch tree tells a story unique to all others its ancestors have shared. Located in Kenai, where the world-famous Kenai River meets the Cook Inlet, the champion Kenai birch stands within the heart of Alaskan adventure: Kenai, a place that features something for everyone to explore; "a village with a past, a city with a future."

Add a comment:
Featured or Related Blog Posts
  • Tune In

    So I haven't played a comic book superhero with incredible powers like telekinesis or the ability to fly. And I haven't donned fangs and sported the trendy tall, dark and handsome vampire look. But, now and again, my fellow Davey arborists and I have something in common with such unique characters: doing something really cool and doing it with a "wow" factor you can see on television.

    That's right, Davey has enjoyed a few minutes of broadcast fame - admittedly not as much as those vampires or superheroes we all know and love - but it still counts, right?

    Our most popular eye candy? moving massive trees. You may or may not know this, but Davey has been moving trees since the 1920s! In fact, we've recently combined our operation with Environmental Design Inc., which equals more than a century of tree moving.

    Read More
  • "Leaf" It to Mother Nature: Falling for Creative Fall Crafts

    'Tis the season for tree canopies to explode with color. Tree leaves exemplify the sun's gradually diminishing heat as the brightest of warm hues paint splotches of color along the surface. Oranges, yellows , reds and plums drape each tree leaf with such beauty for such a brief period of time you can only wish it would last all year long.

    Although Mother Nature limits the highly anticipated fall foliage color show to only a few months of the year, you can preserve autumn's aura by dedicating a bit of extra care, attention and creativity to the leaves falling from the trees.

    Why not share the love you're feeling for fall by preserving some of its best assets--crisp, brightly colored leaves, freshly fallen from the trees--and transforming them into art? Dry and press them like flower petals between the pages of old books and newspapers. Hang them like garland from the railings along your staircase or front porch. Or coat them in wax or Mod Podge® to protect the leaves from losing their color throughout the coming seasons.

    Read More
  • Cherry Crush

    For centuries, trees have been planted to honor an accomplishment, important milestone or rite of passage - birth, graduation, wedding, retirement, death, to name a few.

    And the specific type of tree chosen usually has some symbolic meaning relative to the event. For instance, the oak tree has always been a symbol of strength and courage - "the mighty oak," they always say. And the Bonsai tree has long symbolized harmony, peace and balance.

    When someone plants one tree to mark a triumph, it's quite significant. But in early April this year, when I was in Washington, D.C. traveling for Davey Tree, I saw such a stunning display of trees and realized when someone plants many trees in a symbolic fashion, the result can be extraordinary.

    Read More
  • Happy Arbor Day!

    Don't worry, I won't be long-winded today. Just hope you'll join me in celebrating National Arbor Day. If you're a tree buff like I am, this is truly a great holiday!

    While you're celebrating your trees today, take a few minutes and check out a website that some of my friends at Davey just launched. It's a place where you can share your tree stories and memories. I'm planning to do that myself soon, and I hope to see your story there!


    Read More
  • The Bird-y Bunch

    It's a rainy, gray Saturday morning in spring. Our previously planned trip to the local park is canceled - wet bottoms and mud pies just don't seem that appealing today when we were longing for shorts and sunshine.

    Yet, despite the initial disappointment, my 8-year-old daughter picks up her spirits quicker than I do. She spends at least an hour marveling at the birds out of our family room windows. They flit and flutter from tree to tree and back and forth to the two bird feeders we have hanging from hawthorn trees.

    Little wrens, chickadees and nuthatches are always present, hopping next to the slower, fatter, cooing doves. Then, in a bright red streak, the cardinal flies in, going from the trees straight to the ground, picking up the seed the other smaller birds have discarded.

    Read More

Request a consultation

What do you need services for?
Sorry, we can’t seem to find the zip code you specified. Our residential tree care offices may not service your area. If you believe this is an error, please try again. Need help? Email us at
  • Email newsletter
  • Woodchips
*Please fill out all required fields.