THE BIG TREE TOUR IS BACK
Bill Guenther, Windham County Forester, will lead a day long tour to view some of the largest trees in Windham County. The tour is planned for Saturday, November 7 starting at 9:30 A. M. and ending at approximately 3:30 P.M. It will happen rain or shine. The tour will begin in the Brattleboro High School’s parking lot across from the school and next to Tenney Field (baseball) on Fairground Rd.
Participants need to bring sturdy foot gear and clothes to match the weather, as well as water and lunch (or you can purchase your lunch in Putney Village). Lunch will be at 12:40 – 1:15 p.m. in Putney Village. The Big Tree Tour is free and open to the public and is sponsored by the Windham Regional Woodlands Association.
Many of the trees are registered as champion trees on the Vermont Big Tree Register. A complete list of all the big trees in Vermont is available on the Vermont Department of Forests & Parks website at http://fpr.vermont.gov/forest/vermonts_forests/big_trees . Most of these trees are found on private property; therefore folks on the tour are encouraged to carpool to lessen the impact of the tour. It is also very difficult to keep a lot of cars together, so it is hoped that participants will be willing to carpool together wherever possible.
The tour will include the following State Champions: cucumber magnolia, silver maple, sugar maple and white ash. We’ll also visit some impressive runners-up: white oak, butternut, and paper birch.
For those who wish to join just the afternoon portion of the tour (two trees – the sugar maple and white ash), you can link up with the group in front of the Putney General Store between 12:40 and 1:15.
Big trees are spread out around the county. Therefore, the tour involves driving from one area to the next, then hiking to the actual trees. There will be 7 trees on the tour this year. Six of the trees are within 100 feet of parking, with only one (the white ash) involving about a two mile round trip hike over moderate up and downhill terrain. There will be some bushwhacking on this portion, so good footwear should be worn for this part of the day.
A booklet is provided that includes the day’s schedule, types of trees, locations, and tree identification information. There is also an explanation of how to take the three measurements that are used to qualify a tree for the Big Tree Register.
The American Forestry Association began a nationwide big tree registry in 1940 and it continues today. States have their own registers and some towns do, too. Persons knowing of large trees can nominate them by contacting the county forester.
For more information, contact Windham County Forester Bill Guenther or Dana Ruppert at the UVM Extension/Windham County Forester’s office in Brattleboro at (802) 257-7967 or