To discover a big tree is a big deal. But that's no news to American Forests.
In fact, the organization has recognized hundreds of giant trees from all over the country in its biannual publication, the National Register of Big Trees. Nearly 800 trees exist in the register to date--786 total specimens that have wowed witnesses with their sizes, shapes and structures.
American Forests, the oldest national nonprofit conservation organization in the country, initiated the National Big Tree program more than 70 years ago. Its purpose? "To preserve and promote the iconic stature of these living monarchs;" as well as support the organization's advocacy for the protection and expansion of forests.
|La Pine Giant, the largest ponderosa pine tree in the U.S., located in La Pine State Park, Ore.|
But the National Big Tree program accomplishes so much more than that. It educates communities about how such impressive trees and the forests in which they stand can help sustain a healthy environment; education Davey recognizes and values as the premiere sponsor of the program.
This year marks the 25th year Davey has sponsored American Forests' National Big Tree program. To better illustrate and further recognize national champion trees nominated every year, the two organizations have collaborated on the National Register of Big Trees Calendar: An annual 12-month depiction of some of the most impressive trees to recently receive national recognition.
Let me introduce you to the national champion featured for the month of January 2014:
"LA PINE GIANT" EARNS RECOGNITION. American Forests' 2014 National Register of Big Trees Calendar features "La Pine Giant," a nickname for the champion ponderosa pine hailing from Oregon's La Pine State Park. Originally nominated in 1945, the giant celebrates regaining the national champion title it lost in 1998 this year.
|The American Forests National Register of Big Trees lists La Pine Giant, a ponderosa pine.|
The tree seemed as if it was dying to visitors nearly 20 years ago, when storms had damaged and removed some of its upper branches. But the tree continues to impress more recent passersby since its rediscovery as an abundance of green foliage, and a healthy number of cones continue to emerge from its canopy.
Now, at more than 500 years old, La Pine Giant can't be missed at its location near the Deschutes River in Central Oregon. It measures approximately 167 feet tall, 68 feet across and 348 inches around. That's one Big Tree!
THINK BIG. You can look out for more Big Trees on our blog throughout the year! In the meantime, share your favorite tree photos with us-just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your photo and a brief description and we'll share it here! Happy Big Tree hunting!