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June 24, 2010 Volume 31, No. 32

Mizzou campus boasts six state-champion trees

Branching out

Trees in urban areas provide many benefits

Six trees on the University of Missouri campus have been named state champion trees by the Missouri Department of Conservation. At a June 23 ceremony in Peace Park, the Mizzou Botanic Garden received certificates from the Missouri Department of Conservation for each of the trees.

Trees in urban areas provide many benefits, and for that reason the state of Missouri recognizes the largest specimen of each type of tree in the state. Besides adding curb appeal, trees help clean the air, curb stormwater runoff, increase property value, sequester carbon and reduce energy costs.

MU’s staff of certified arborists work year-round to ensure the health of the nearly 6,000 trees on campus. Mizzou Botanic Garden recognizes the educational and health benefits trees provide and is thrilled to have six of Missouri’s largest trees,” says Pete Millier, the botanic garden director. “We take pride in the beauty of our campus, and one large part of that beauty is the number of healthy trees that we have on our campus.”

American Forests and the Missouri Department of Conservation use a formula to assess a point value —  based on circumference, crown spread and height — to determine champion trees. Mizzou Botanic Garden’s six award-winning trees are:

  • Blackhaw (Viburnum prunifolium) Circumference: 24 inches, height: 19 feet, spread: 21 feet
  • Buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis) Circumference: 7 inches, height: 12 feet, spread: 18 feet
  • Roughleaf dogwood (Cornus drummondii) Circumference: 13 inches, height: 26 feet, spread: 21 feet
  • Fringetree (Chionanthus virginicah) Circumference: 9 feet, height: 13 feet, spread: 21 feet
  • Black Maple (Acer nigrum) Circumference: 87 inches, height: 77 feet, spread: 14 feet
  • Sugarberry (Celtis laevigata) Circumference: 131 inches, height: 81 feet, spread: 73 feet

A map locating each of the six trees is online at the Botanic Garden website.