PARIS — The Oxford County Soil and Water Conservation District, sponsor of the Oxford County Big Tree Contest, says it’s time to start looking for candidates for the 2018 Oxford County Register of Big Trees.

The total points are determined by a licensed forester who measures circumference (in inches) plus height (in feet) plus one quarter of crown spread.

This is where Oxford County stands at the start of the 2018 season:

• Forty-one of the 66 (67 counting the cottonwood) native tree species for Oxford County have been found.

• There are three sets of co-champions: Red Maple, Yellow Birch and American Chestnut (there are three American Chestnuts within 10 points of each other).

• Waterford is the new county leader with six champions.

• The County Champion with the most points overall is still an enormous Silver maple located in Fryeburg with a total of 405.13 points.

• The County Champion with the least number of points is a Common Juniper with a total of 12 points. Maine has a Common Juniper in the National Register of Big Trees with a total of 38 points.

• Oxford County has nine State Champions: American Basswood, American Sycamore, Black Oak, Eastern Red Cedar, Northern Red Oak, Silver Maple, Striped Maple, Swamp White Oak and White Ash.

• There are presently seven nominees for State Champion: Eastern Cottonwood, Eastern Hemlock, Eastern Hophornbeam, Eastern White Pine, Northern White Cedar, Pitch Pine and White Spruce.

There are still 26 species to find. Some great ones to look for this year are American Hornbeam, Balsam Poplar (sometimes called Balm of Gilead and made famous in the Norway area by the writings of C.A. Stephens), Black Ash, Gray Birch, Staghorn Sumac and Witch Hazel.

Owners of champion trees receive a certificate and nominators of winning trees receive T-shirts and copies of Forest Trees of Maine, Centennial Edition 1908-2008. 

The Oxford County Big Tree Contest is sponsored by the Oxford County Soil & Water Conservation District. For more information, native tree lists, nomination forms or a copy of the 2017 Oxford County Register of Big Trees, call 207-744-3119, email [email protected] or stop in at the Oxford County Soil & Water Conservation District office located at 17 Olson Road in Paris.

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