By Shandra Furtado, Communications Intern
Congratulations to Missouri’s white basswood, our 2016 Big Tree Madness Champion! In a match-up with first-time finalist New Hampshire and its pitch pine, Missouri won with 59 percent of the votes — the closest championship margin ever! This is Missouri’s second year in a row — and third overall — to win the championship, in the one of the biggest turnouts we’ve seen yet!
The 87-foot-tall white basswood is a native species to Missouri and sits in the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis. The tree gets its name from the whitish undersides of its leaves. White basswoods bloom in mid-summer, producing delicate, light-yellow flowers that hang in clusters, creating an atmosphere desirable for bees, butterflies and other pollinators. Not only is this majestic tree a haven for wildlife, but it’s also a beautiful addition to any area.
The Missouri Big Tree program will be receiving a TruPulse 360B from LaserTech for their win. It’s a great tool that will ease the measurement process and help collect useful data for the program.
We would like to give a big thanks to LaserTech for supplying the grand prize and to our program’s premiere sponsor, The Davey Tree Expert Company.
Once again, congratulations to Missouri, and thank you to everyone who participated in this year’s Big Tree Madness tournament!