NEW: The University of Alabama recognized as home to state champion Southern Magnolia tree

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Measuring the state champion magnolia tree behind Bryant-Jordan Hall on campus. (The University of Alabama)

The University of Alabama (UA) has garnered another treemendous honor. One of the campuses Southern Magnolia trees has been recognized as an Alabama Champion Tree—meaning it’s the largest in the state for that particular species. Plus, UA was recognized as a “Tree Campus USA” for the eighth year in a row. Read on for details.

Going for green

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UA is once again a “Tree Campus USA”. (The University of Alabama)

The University of Alabama may just have another state championship on its hands. This time, it’s a little more green than usual. A Southern Magnolia tree located on the Bryce Preserve on campus was recently recognized as the current largest of that species in the state.

Katie Wiswall with the Alabama Forestry Commission measured the tree as part of Alabama’s Champion Tree Program, which aims to discover, recognize and preserve the largest trees of each species in the state.

“Unless someone submits a much taller tree, and I don’t see that happening, you all have a Champion tree.”

Kate Wiswall, Alabama Forestry Commission

County forester Sam Boswell and forestry ranger Roy Davis assisted with the measurements, along with David Phillips and Aurora Baker. Here’s a breakdown of the tree’s massive measurements:

  • 292 inches in circumference
  • 70 inches in height
  • 72 feet average crown spread

Tree Campus USA

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Scenes from the tree-measuring event. (The University of Alabama)

As quoted by Wiswall, there could be a taller tree submitted, but that’s probably not going to happen. So, it’s safe to say Alabama has a champion on its hands.

If the campus tree is declared an official Alabama Champion, a permanent marker will be installed at the base of the tree.

Champion or not, UA was also recognized during the tree-measuring event as a “Tree Campus USA” for the eighth consecutive year. This special designation from the Arbor Day Foundation recognizes universities that promote healthy trees and conversation efforts. Roll Tide!

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Gabby Gervais
Gabby Gervais
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