Black Oak's Blog

Cool website dedicated to cataloging the largest trees (of each species) in California.

From the Register of Big Trees:

The Largest Black Oak in California?"The General Sherman Giant Sequoia, growing in Sequoia National Park, brings fame to the state of California as the world's most massive living organism. With a height of 261 feet, circumference of 1024 inches and crown spread of 106 feet, it is the largest tree in the state. But by no means is it the only champion.

The National Register of Big Trees, a program of American Forests sponsored by The Davey Tree Expert Company, lists about 800 champion trees. Of these, more than 80 are located in California, making them state champions as well.

The California Register of Big Trees is a program of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection and the Northern and Southern California Societies of American Foresters. It maintains records for the largest specimen of each native and naturalized tree species growing in California. The register seeks to recognize and sustain these living landmarks. Not all champions are literal giants like the General Sherman Giant Sequoia. The National Champion Smoke Tree, for example, is a mere 17 feet tall, with a crown spread of 12 feet and circumference of 48 inches.

The oldest living things also make their home in California. The intermountain bristlecone pines are believed to be more than 4,000 years old. They grow in a grove 11,000 feet above sea level in the Inyo National Forest, where the tallest is only 41 feet tall, with a crown spread of 48 feet and a circumference of 439 inches. These trees survive in a particularly hostile environment, where they face unpredictable wind and temperature changes on any given day.

Each California champion has its own history, its own story. Perhaps no one knows these stories better than the nominators of the champions. These people have a genuine interest in big trees that has led them to the forest depths, into arid deserts and to urban and residential areas. Champion trees can be found growing just about everywhere across the state. Trees are a valuable part of our environment. They help purify the air and water, protect watershed areas, prevent soil erosion, enhance wildlife habitats, increase property values and heighten awareness of spiritual values.

Champion trees also bring pride and recognition to the nominators, owners and to the tree itself. The California Register of Big Trees hopes to increase awareness of our valuable living assets and to encourage individuals to locate and nominate more champions."

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