Texas Tree Trails

Texas Tree Trails
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  A Tree Grows in Grapevine

52-foot-tall box elder is named the biggest known tree of its kind in Texas

Monday, August 7, 2006

By BILL TEETER / STAR-TELEGRAM STAFF WRITER

Photo: STAR-TELEGRAM / PAUL MOSELEY

GRAPEVINE -- Even after overcoming great odds to win the title, this competitor won't be making any speeches or creating a celebration spectacle. Standing tall among its peers will be enough to mark the occasion of being named the state champion giant box elder maple tree.

The Grapevine tree is 52 feet tall with a trunk circumference of 106 inches and an average crown spread of 59 feet. It's the biggest known box elder in the state, said Courtney Blevins, regional urban forester for the Texas Forest Service, which awarded the title in late July.

Box elders grow fast and have weak branches, so it is unusual for one to survive so long and get so large, he said. The Grapevine tree is probably less than 100 years old. "This one, for a box elder, is a monster," Blevins said. The national champion box elder in Monrovia, MD stands 120 feet tall with a canopy spread of 84 feet and a trunk circumference of 230 inches.

State foresters keep an eye out for big specimens of trees and check tips from the public to identify regional and state champions, Blevins said. The box elder was nominated by Michael Cutchins of Sachse, who enjoys walking wooded areas and identifying trees during lunch breaks. "Anything to get out from behind a computer screen," he said.

In the photo, Joe Moore, assistant director of the Grapevine Parks and Recreation Department, stands at the base of the championship-winning box elder tree on Mills Run Trail. -ed.

 

TREE TOPICS

For photos of state champion trees and a nomination form: www.texastreetrails.org

More tree topics: texasforestservice.tamu.edu

A national registry of large trees: www.americanforest.org

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REPRINTED WITH PERMISSION OF The Star-Telegram

This article can be found on the Star-Telegram On-Line

 

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