Thursday, April 24, 2014

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Fayette County’s Champion Tree!

December 1, 2009 by Bonnie Helander  
Filed under Etcetera, Garden Views

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Master Gardeners, George and Ellen Long, have spent years cultivating their spectacular garden on two-plus acres off of Hwy 92 in Fayetteville. The giant focal point of their garden, however, was already thriving hundreds of years before the Longs were even born!

The Longs are proud caretakers of one of the largest and oldest trees in Georgia and probably the largest in Fayette County. Recently the tree, a white oak (Quercus Alba) was designated by the Georgia Forestry Commission

Ellen Long is hard to see at the base of her champion White Oak.

Ellen Long is hard to see at the base of her champion White Oak.

as a Co-Champion in the state of Georgia. This towering white oak is estimated to be between 250 and 300 years old and is 81 feet tall, with a circumference at 4.5 feet of 277 inches. The average diameter of the crown spread is 85 feet!

The tree is located on an old farm home site where George and Ellen have uncovered numerous farming tools dating back to the 1800′s. Sadly there were two other huge trees on their property that were lost during wind storms in the last 25 years. Their champion white oak, however, is in good condition.

The Georgia Forestry Commission oversees the Champion Tree Program in Georgia. A champion tree is defined as the largest known tree of a particular species. For a tree to be considered, it must meet specific size criteria and not be an invasive tree species in Georgia. For more information about the Champion Tree Program, go to: http://www.gfc.state.ga.us/ForestManagement/ChampionTree.cfm.

Trees are so important to the quality of our lives. Trees improve air quality, provide shade, act as natural water filters, reduce erosion, are sound barriers and provide a needed habitat for wildlife. So, in honor of Fayette County’s champion white oak, why don’t you consider planting a tree today for future generations to enjoy!

George Long stands next to the huge trunk of his champion tree.

George Long stands next to the huge trunk of his champion tree.

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About Bonnie Helander
I am a writer and blogger with a specialty in gardening and a proud graduate of the University Of Georgia. I live in Peachtree City with husband, Dan, and enjoy hiking, gardening, being a member of the Peachtree City Garden Club and rooting for the Georgia Bulldogs!

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