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The biggest bur oak.


Beginning with the last issue, AMERICAN FORESTS started a new feature profiling one of the Champions listed in the National Register of Big Trees, which the American Forestry Association has maintained for 50 years now. Though not all of the 850-odd National Champions are as regal as the bur oak shown here, each is distinctive, and we hope this page will spur our members to seek out and nominate new champions.

This bur oak has reigned as champ since 1980, when it was nominated by Owen H. Robinson, now a retired district forester for Kentucky's Division of Forestry. It stands near a pond on the 1,140-acre Indian Creek Farm, a horse, hay, and tobacco operation near Paris, Kentucky.

According to Shackenford "Shack" Parrish, when members of the Parrish and Hancock families and their British partners first viewed the farm for possible purchase, the troupe tried to stretch their arms around the mighty oak. They couldn't.

Although this stately tree has suffered the indignities of lightning strikes a few times in its long life, it has held its own among the bur oaks The tree is a symbol of the farm and is shown on its stationery and work hats.

Twenty seedlings transplanted from the shade of the champ to one of several wild areas on the farm were killed by frost last year. The owners are determined to try again to preserve the progeny of this nationally renowned oak.
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Title Annotation:National Champ tree in Kentucky
Author:Gangloff, Deborah
Publication:American Forests
Date:Jan 1, 1991
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