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Mystery tree identification

In a Previous Blog story we were trying to identify the tree in the front of the house.
I finally contacted the local Department of Environmental Conservation who were amazing.  I was put in contact with a great guy called Michael Pogue who is a Senior Forrester at NYS DEC who not only looked at several photos but also went to the house and identified the tree as an American Smoketree.

"Just got back from your property.  Smoke tree it is.  This is the largest specimen I have seen and the first one I have actually looked at at "close range".  It's out of its native range but obviously quite happy."

I must say I had not expected the support and help that Mike at the DEC provided.  Obviously in the grand scheme of things this is not a big priority for them but Mike not only took an interest but went out of his way to help me learn more about the tree.  If part of DEC's responsibilities is education and garnering community interest in trees and forestry,  Mike certainly excelled in that.

So, we know we have an American Smoketree....but exactly how large a specimen is it?

Well, thanks to the document referenced in the previous post on the subject, we know it is bigger than any other in New York State.  The current state champion is 11 inches in circumference and only 20 ft tall.  (According to the New York State Big Tree Register)

Then I started looking around at other Champion Tree lists.

(For reference our tree is 82 inches around the trunk and I estimate between 35 and 45ft tall.  It does not have a big "crown" because of the two huge Maple trees that shade it from one side.  Approx 25-30ft )

List of big tree lists

Turns out the "National Champion" Smoketree is not too much bigger than ours.  This one is in Kentucky and is 101 inches around the trunk and 42 ft tall.  

The Kansas champion is 97 inches around the trunk and 46 feet tall.  Missouri 88' and 30 feet tall.
Other than those three trees, I cannot find any other Smoketrees on the lists that is bigger than ours,

Now the fun starts.  We have to get the tree registered as the NY state champion.  It is clearly much bigger than the current state champion.  


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