New Illinois State Co-Champ   beth koebel
  May 06, 2007 07:24 PDT 


Until last month Illinois didn't have a Slippery Elm champ. Larry Mahan
told the group that gathered at our Big Tree measuring workshop that he
found a Slippery Elm that was 105' tall and a CBH of 7'8". I went down
to our farm to plant 25 dogwoods, look for big trees and mow the grass
this past Thursday through Saturday. It rained Wednesday through
Friday/Saturday night (3-4"). Rain didn't stop me from planting and
searching. I measured a couple of Eastern Cottonwoods, one I call
Freeburg soccer Cottonwood since it is close to a soccer field had a
nice size CBH of 21.5' and was 109' tall (this tree is the first tree
that I found on my own to be taller than 100' outside Illinois'
Cherrybark Oak champ that I went and remeasured with Don Bragg). I
thought the crown was unusal though, it reminded me of a 05.L water
bottle since it 87' X 25' and paralle to the road. It had a big branch
that had broken off years ago that probly held up the crown on the side
opposite the road. I then measured what I call the St.Clair/Monroe
Eastern Cottonwood since it sits on the boarder of these two counties.
This one smaller the the other one but it was my second tree over 100'
(I have measured a pecan at excatly 100').

My farm neighbor was telling me of a couple of acres that he planted in
700 trees for another elderly neighbor of ours so it could be in a
program that reforests abanded farm fields and he mentioned about how
the loggers left a dam they built to cross a creek and how he and
another farmer barked at them to remove the dam since it forcing the
creek into a channel. So they finally came back and pushed the dam out
(something they should have done without being told too) and off into
the neighboring property right against a big elm. I asked him about the
elm and he said I couldn't miss it. He was right. It has a CBH of 10'
at 5'above the ground (couldn't get to 4-1/2' due to the logs piled up
against it) and it was 76.167' tall with an average crown of 90.5'. I
don't know what the crown was on Larry Mahan's elm but there is only 1
point differnce between the the two without the crowns.

On a side note, I asked Jay Hayek, Illinois coord., if anyone had turned
in a cockspur hawthorn because if noone has I know of one only about
half grown but the biggest one I've found so far. If no one has then
Judy Garland was right, "There's no place like home" because within
1-1/2 miles of our farm house there is two state champs and 1 co-champ.