National champion Magnolia tripetala and others
  Feb 06, 2006 16:15 PST 

Toady I made a journey to visit and remeasure the National champion Magnolia tripetala, Umbrella magnolia. Located outside of New Hope, Pa right on the Delaware river, it grows in the backyard of an 1816 estate house. The estate has been cut up from the original 300 acres that William Penn originally granted, and now sits on one acre. A beautiful home in good repair with an amazing view of the Delaware river and an amazing footbridge that crosses the river. The footbridge is about an eigth of a mile long and is a local attraction. The second owner was a plant collector/horticulturist and planted the property properly with many popular species at the time. Starting with the natives:

magnolia_tripetala_nc_trunk.jpg (1599840 bytes) David Leigh with the Umbrella Magnolia

Umbrella magnolia - this tree was measured improperly at 6" in the past. Measuring the largest trunk at 4.5' the cbh is 66" with a height of 48.4' and a min spread of 39' and a max spread of 54' for 128 AF points. The cbh at 6" is 138". This tree has been the national champion since 1967. I hope I don't ruin that with my accurate measurements! In 1993 it was 122" cbh @ 6", 50' tall with a 50' avg spread for 185 AF points. The tree has a cavity, and three main trunks. An old cable system in the tree ties it to itself, AND a large cucumber magnolia on the edge of the yard. A no no nowadays.

white_cedar.jpg (552638 bytes) White Cedar

White cedar (Cham. thyoides)- This tree is now on the neighbors property, but is part of the original estate. A beautiful single stem specimen along the driveway.
84" cbh 70.8' tall with a 30' spread for 163 points.

carya_illinoisensis.jpg (664163 bytes) Pecan

Pecan- A beautiful specimen on the same property as the white cedar. Producing pounds and pounds of nuts, of which I was given about three pounds of shelled nuts and another pound in husk. Yum! This tree is 97" cbh 91.3' tall with a symetrical 83' spread for 209 points.

other natives on the property were:
Black walnut
red oak
scarlet oak
cucumber magnolia
concolor fir

One of the most impressive trees was a large sugar maple that had to be removed. The owner "saved" the tree by having the trunk and two major limbs carved into Nike the goddess of victory. The sculpture stands at about 25-30' tall. Very cool!

nike.jpg (518368 bytes) Statue of Nike

The exotic species were also very impressive:

ginko_bilboa.jpg (594469 bytes) Gingko bilboa

Gingko - this tree is more than likely from the 1876 centennial celebration in Philadelphia. 192"cbh 100.5' tall with a 87 foot spread for 315 points.

Oriental spruce - 89" cbh 82.5' tall wit a 24' spread for 178 points

Nordmann fir - 94" cbh 69.1' tall 27' spread for 170 points

Mahogany (don't know which one yet) 140" cbh 95.2' tall 54' spread for 249 points.

star magnolia
saucer magnolia
chinese chesnut (very large cbh)

I ended the day with a trip to the dentist....oh well.