This northern white cedar in Lovell is one of the new state champion trees. Contributed

BETHEL — The Oxford County Register of Big Trees has announced Oxford County’s newest champion — a balsam poplar, or for those familiar with the works of local author C.A. Stephens, a Balm of Gilead. Located at the home of Scott and Michele Cole, the tree is 105 feet tall, 194 inches in circumference and has a total of 318.6 points. It has also became a state champion. In all, Oxford County lost one state champ and added 10 new trees to the Maine Register of Big Trees, for a total of 17 state champions.

Oxford County now has its first two nominations for the National Registry of Big Trees. The two entries are a mountain paper birch, also located in Bethel, and an eastern hophornbeam planted on Paris Hill in 1812.

New county champions are the balsam poplar, and bigtooth aspen and white spruce, co-champions.

New state champions are the American beech, mountain paper birch, butternut, northern white cedar, American chestnut, eastern hophornbeam, eastern white pine, balsam poplar, staghorn sumac and tamarack.

Nominees for National Registry are the mountain paper birch and eastern hophornbeam.

For a copy of the 2020 Oxford County Registry of Big Trees, contact OCSWCD by emailing [email protected] or calling 207-744-3119. The updated Maine Register of Big Trees may be viewed online at

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