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Trees worth treasuring

Trees worth treasuring

Guilford contest surveys which trees are the tops

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These trees were winnners in the Cooperative Extension Service’s Treasure Trees of Guilford County contest


American Beech North Oaks Drive, Greensboro 126.0 43.00

American Elm Forest Valley Drive, Greensboro 126.0 29.60

American Holly Wild Turkey Road, Greensboro 45.0 31.00

American Sycamore Crest Hill Road, Greensboro 136 26.10

Atlantic White Cedar Liberty Road, Greensboro 60.0 20.00

Bald Cypress Twin Lakes Park, Greensboro 98.0 34.60

Black Gum McLeansville Road, McLeansville 87.0 39.50

Black Locust Ludgate Road, Gibsonville 41.0 49.50

Black Oak Old Summerfield Road, Summerfield 116.0 54.00

Black Walnut N.C. 62 East, Liberty 108 30.00

Blackgum (Tupelo) Twin Lakes Park, Greensboro 58.8 17.10

Bottlebrush Buckeye Kello Drive, Greensboro 18.0 8.30

Dogwood Woodvale Drive, Greensboro 28.0 23.00

Eastern Red Bud Trosper Road, Greensboro 40.0 9.00

Easter Red Cedar Brightwood Church Road, Gibsonville 64.0 34.00

Green Ash Twin Lakes Park, Greensboro 103.0 35.80

Loblolly Pine High Meadows Court, Greensboro 110.0 40.30

Mockernut Hickory Clayburn Road, Greensboro 92.0 36.00

Northern Red Oak North Church Street, Greensboro 133.0 55.20

Pecan Williams Dairy Road Greensboro 94.0 43.25

Persimmon Wyndwood Drive, Jamestown 37.0 8.00

Pignut Hickory Fallen Oak Road, Greensboro 140.0 35.00

Pin Oak Sherwood Street, Greensboro 130.0 47.00

Post Oak Cypress Street, Greensboro 84.0 50.00

Red Maple Oak Ridge Road, Oak Ridge 64.0 35.50

Red Mulberry Carlisle Road, Greensboro 54.0 27.50

Sassafras Knight Village Circle, Stokesdale 18.0 4.30

Shagbark Hickory Trosper Road, Greensboro 85.0 16.75

Shingle Oak Kensington Road, Greensboro 104.0 57.80

Shortleaf Pine North Holden Road, Greensboro 109.0 28.90

Silver Maple West Friendly Avenue, Greensboro 82.5 50.40

Slippery Elm Summerfield Road, Summerfield 84.0 47.00

Southern Catalpa South Aycock Street, Greensboro 80.0 48.90

Southern Magnolia Burke Street, Gibsonville 78.0 54.40

Southern Red Oak Neelley Road, Pleasant Garden 125.0 69.50

Sugar Hackberry Carpenter House Road, Whitsett 68.0 24.50

Sugar Maple Woodridge Avenue, Greensboro 32.0 16.40

Sweet Gum Owl’s Roost Road, Greensboro 115.0 49.50

Tulip Poplar Guilford College Road, Greensboro 148.0 63.90

Turkey Oak Deboe Road, Summerfield 92.0 57.00

Weeping Willow Twin Lakes Park, Greensboro 60.0 50.40

White Ash Townsend Forest Lane, Browns Summit 109.0 31.00

White Oak North Church Street, Greensboro 135.0 62.50

Willow Oak Cypress Street, Greensboro 138.0 62.50

Source: Guilford County Cooperative Extension Service

The tall-timber hunters have done their calculations and determined Guilford County’s mightiest trees — and the winner isn’t the same-old, same-old oak.

It’s a 148-foot-tall tulip poplar on the Guilford College campus.

Recently, at a post-Arbor Day ceremony in the Guilford County Cooperative Extension Service auditorium, proud tree owners and others who nominated winning trees received plaques for the trunks.

More than 350 trees representing 47 native species were nominated for the Cooperative Extension Service’s Treasure Trees of Guilford County contest.

Twin Lakes Park off Pinecroft Road led with three winners: a 98-foot bald cypress, a 58-foot black gum and a 103-foot green ash.

The Aycock Middle School campus produced two winners: an 84-foot post oak and a 138-foot willow oak.

The winning tulip poplar stood tallest in Guilford County, but its height was only part of the equation that pushed it over the top, so to speak.

Members of the Cooperative Extension Service’s Master Gardeners program, who did the measuring in 2003-04, used a widely accepted point system. It adds height, diameter and one-fourth of the tree’s crown.

Hold your applause. The most significant winner wasn’t the poplar. It was a 92-foot turkey oak nominated by Gladys Scarlette on Deboe Road in Summerfield. The tree scored 175.13 points.

That makes it not only the county’s largest known turkey oak, but North Carolina’s, as well.

An ongoing N.C. Forest Service survey of North Carolina champion trees lists a Moore County turkey oak as the state’s largest with 172 points.

Extension agent Karen Neill plans to call the state forest service to request Guilford’s turkey oak be recognized as new state champ.

Better hurry. Scarlette says the tree grows on property that is being developed. But, she says, the development features houses on large lots, and she believes the champion turkey oak will be spared.

Scarlette nominated the turkey oak “although I didn’t know there was such a thing as a turkey oak. I just knew it was a big tree.’’

Other winning trees came nowhere near matching the state forest service’s champs.

Guilford County’s winning tulip poplar, which accumulated 229.5 points, looks like a dwarf compared with the 374-point state title holder in Perquimans County in North Carolina’s northeast corner.

The bald cypress in Twin Lakes Park with 139.25 points is overwhelmed by the state winner, a 606-point tree in eastern North Carolina’s Bertie County.

A total of 43 white oaks were nominated for Guilford’s Treasure Trees contest, the most of any species.

The 135-foot winner shades the yard of Sandy McNairy’s family homestead on North Church Street. McNairy believes the oak may date back to the Battle of Guilford Courthouse in 1781.

McNairy’s white oak totaled 220.13 points, way below the state champ, a Johnston County tree that scored 427 points.

Regardless of how Guilford trees stack up statewide, Neill says the county remains blessed with big trees, just not as many as before.

The Greensboro Council of Garden Clubs conducted a champion tree survey in 1984.

The Master Gardeners later returned to those trees but found many had been removed for development, killed or reduced in size by storms. That included the famous Liberty Oak on New Garden Road, once the county’s largest white oak, and a black oak on the Guilford College campus, once the largest of that species.

The Master Gardeners also found at Buffalo Presbyterian Church that storms had reduced a Southern Catalpa that had long ranked as North Carolina’s largest.

Now, it’s not even Guilford’s largest.

An 80-foot catalpa on South Aycock Street, nominated by Aileen Johnson, has that honor.

Neill says the Treasure Tree contest aims to make people aware of the value of trees and motivate them “to preserve and protect them.’’

She says when a large tree falls, five to six generations of people go through life before a replacement tree reaches the same size.

Booklets of winners are available from the Cooperative Extension Service. The state champs can be found on the Internet by going to Google and typing North Carolina Champion Trees.

Neill concedes other trees in Guilford County may be larger than the winners, but no one nominated them.

She also says the Master Gardeners publicized the contest and sought nominations.

White oak owners apparently got the word, but not dogwood owners.

Only one dogwood — Greensboro once boasted of being “The City of Dogwoods’’ — was nominated, by Phillip Wall of Woodvale Drive. It totaled 60.88 points, small compared with the 157-point state champion dogwood in Sampson County.

Five cheers for the five American elms nominated. It shows not all of these trees died in the Dutch elm blight of years ago. The winner was a 126-footer nominated by Luanna Mossa of Forest Valley Drive.

Neill hopes the contest can be repeated every five years. She thinks it’s a good way of tracking tree growth and how it’s affected by population growth.

Contact Jim Schlosser at 373-7081 or


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