Big trees are an inspiration to anyone that get’s close to one. Now of course if you have stood next to a Giant Sequoia in California you realize what I’m talking about. But even getting up close to a old large Bur Oak or White Pine can give you a similar experience. Did you know that there are people who “hunt” for big trees like that? Yes there are.
In the United State there are lists of “Champion” trees by species. There are National Champion Trees and most states have a list of Champion Trees. I became aware of State Champion Trees when a Sugar Maple in the woods about a mile from my house was declared the Minnesota State Champion Sugar Maple. The metric used is a combination of Circumference of the tree, the height of the tree, and the spread of the branches. I believe there are variations and fine details in measuring which make it complex to get an accurate total score.
After the learning of the Minnesota State Champion Sugar Maple I went out into my woods and measured the circumference of a large Sugar Maple located on my neighbors property a few feet from my land. I don’t have the equipment to measure the height or spread of the tree, but I did find that the circumference of the tree was only 2 inches shy of the State Champion tree. That spurred my interest in learning more about large trees – no matter what species. As a result of that interest I found and continue to explore a website called Monumental trees https://www.monumentaltrees.com/en/ The feature picture above shows the front page.
This site is more focused on European trees. Which not only are big, but they have some very old trees with much history. You can sort by country or tree species and just spend time looking at unique monumental trees. They do have a large section on Giant Sequoia and Coast Redwoods. I enjoy finding big old White Oaks in Europe. In fact I am traveling to Switzerland in May of 2019 and have found a few big trees which I want to visit. I highly recommend looking around the Monumental trees website. See what you can find.
Check back for parts 2 and 3 of tree hunters. Did you know that tree hunters are still finding huge unknown trees around the world, and most notably Coastal Redwoods. It may even be that case that some Coastal Redwoods are bigger than Giant Sequoia’s.