The Arkansas Forestry Commission and the City of Texarkana hosted a dedication of the Arkansas State Champion Southern Magnolia monument on Wednesday underneath the branches of the massive tree on the corner of 46th Street and County Avenue.
The Arkansas Champion Tree List is maintained by the Arkansas Forestry Commission. It recognizes those trees that are the largest of the species by using the American Forests' "Bigness Index." The Southern Magnolia, Magnolia grandiflora, has a circumference of 219 inches, a crown spread of 82 feet and a height of 70 feet, resulting in a bigness index of 310 points.
Arkansas has 129 trees designated as champions or co-champions of their species. A full list of Arkansas State Champion Trees can be found online at http://forestry.arkansas.gov/Pages/ChampionTrees.aspx.
Funding for the monuments was made possible through a philanthropic grant from the Ross Foundation. Purchase of the monuments was coordinated through the Arkansas Forestry Association, a non-profit organization representing forest industry and private forest landowners.
The National Register of Big Trees is the official publication that recognizes more than 800 of the largest native and naturalized tree species in the United States. It is maintained by American Forests' National Big Tree Program whose goal is to preserve and promote the iconic stature of these trees. Two national champions can be found in Arkansas - the Persimmon in Dardanelle and co-champion Shortleaf Pine in Ashley County. The National Register of Big Trees 2010 can be found online at www.americanforests.org/resources/bigtrees/.
For more information about the Arkansas Champion Tree Program, please contact the AFC Public Affairs Office at (501) 296-1937 or visit www.arkansasforestry.org.