Gilman City, Mo. – A black maple tree in rural northwest Missouri has joined a list of giants. The black maple growing in a field edge in southeastern Harrison County recently qualified for the list of Missouri State Champion Trees.
The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) keeps a list of champions to celebrate the beauty and economic benefits trees provide in forests, fields, and lawns. Trees are chosen by a formula that takes into account trunk circumference, height, and crown spread.
This new champ is 58 feet tall with a crown spread of 81 feet and a trunk circumference measurement of 115.8 inches. The tree is owned by John Milligan of rural Gilman City. Milligan was recently presented with a state champion tree plaque by Jason Severe, an MDC forester.
Black maple trees are similar to sugar maples. But the black maples have leaves that are wider and more drooping. Leaf stalks are longer. Twigs greater than two years old have a waxy coating.
For more information on Missouri State Champion Trees, go to http://mdc.mo.gov/node/4831.