STURGEON, Mo. — The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) awarded State Champion Tree honors to city officials in Sturgeon this week. The largest blue ash in the state of Missouri lives in Sturgeon’s City Park.
“About 26 years ago, a forester measured a very big blue ash tree in Sturgeon’s City Park, and it fell just short of the state title,” said MDC Resource Forester Angela George. “I recently re-measured the tree, which has grown a lot, and it is now considered the largest known blue ash tree in Missouri.”
Over the past quarter-century, a giant blue ash tree in Boonville has held the title of State Champion, but Sturgeon’s tree kept growing. Sturgeon’s blue ash now has a circumference of 100.8 inches, a height of 89 feet, and an average crown spread of 55 feet.
Using a formula that accounts for these three major measurements, and scores contending trees for comparison, George confirmed that Sturgeon’s blue ash tree is the largest known in the state.
“We sure appreciate all the help the Department of Conservation has done for us,” said Sturgeon Mayor Gene Kelly. “Our little town is made more attractive because of all of these efforts.”
The Missouri State Champion Tree Program recognizes all native tree species, large or small. When a state champion tree dies, the next largest contender of that species on file becomes the new champion.
In an effort to help generate awareness and appreciation for our state’s trees and forests, MDC invites everyone to join in the search for Missouri’s champion trees.
To learn more about the State Champion Tree Program visit short.mdc.mo.gov/Z4i.