MDC presents State Champion Tree award for dwarf hackberry at Tan-Tar-A Resort

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COLUMBIA, Mo. — The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) presented a State Champion Tree award to Tan-Tar-A Resort in Camden County for the largest known dwarf hackberry tree in the state. 

“The dwarf hackberry tree at Tan-Tar-A just happened to catch my eye as I was leaving the complex for lunch during the Missouri Natural Resources Conference,” said Matt Arndt, a certified forester and owner of Matt’s Healthy Woods & Wildlife.

Arndt nominated the tree for the state award, and MDC Resource Forester Paul Johnson took an official measurement using a formula to account for the tree’s height, crown spread, and trunk size. Upon determining the tree to be the largest of its kind on record, Johnson awarded plaques and bragging rights to Arndt and representatives from Tan-Tar-A Resort.

“The Missouri State Champion Tree Program provides a fun opportunity for Missourians to get out, explore, and find unique trees,” said Johnson. “Every tree listed in the program is the largest known to-date. It just goes to show you that a state champion tree can be just about anywhere.” 

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. MDC invites everyone to join the search for Missouri’s champion trees. 

“I think the State Champion Tree Program is very beneficial,” Arndt added. “I’m constantly on the lookout for a new champion.” 

To learn more about the State Champion Tree Program visit