Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Champion tree program captures public imagination, information on biggest trees; Snow Hill, MD; 4/22/09

Towering tree earns place in records Baltimore Sun - United States
Tracking big trees is far from a pointless pursuit. Tree size matters, offering clues about the health of species and entire forests. And the rankings foster conservation, enthusiasts say, by giving the owners of record-holders added incentive to keep and care for them.
Of course, bragging rights are nice, too. Maryland boasts 16 national champions or co-champions, half of them in Baltimore, Howard, Carroll and Anne Arundel counties. The state used to have the biggest white oak in the union until the famed Wye Oak toppled in a 2002 storm.Eight Maryland counties maintain their own big tree lists, and in 2006 Maloof teamed with a graduate student named Ronald Lindblom to include neighboring Wicomico County in that group. Precise locations are often kept secret to deter vandalism.

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