Lake Forest Park Tree Board hosts Champion Tree Contest for kids and teens

Monday, May 31, 2021

Possibly the largest sequoia in Washington state belongs to Betsy (shown) and George Piano of Lake Forest Park. Photo by George Piano

From the Lake Forest Park Tree Board

In Lake Forest Park, we love our trees and our forest canopy — the “roof” of leaves made by all our trees. We love them so much we have laws to protect them, and we honor them on Arbor Day. They are important because they clean our air, give birds and bugs places to live, and cool off our Earth.

Kids and animals grow up and stop getting bigger, but did you know that trees keep growing their whole lives? A “champion tree” is the biggest tree of its kind. There is a list of champion trees for our whole country, and a list of champion trees in our state. Wouldn’t it be great if we had a list of champion trees in our city, too?

Sequoiadendron giganteum are an uncommon species in Lake Forest Park. This one is in the front yard of George and Betsy Piano. Photo by Hitomi Dames

We want this list to be started by KIDS and TEENS! To kick off this project, the volunteer Lake Forest Park Tree Board is holding a contest to see who can find the biggest examples of five common trees in our city. 

There will be multiple winners in each age category (12 and under and 13-17) who will each receive a GIFT CARD for SWIRL FROZEN YOGURT!

If you live or go to school in Lake Forest Park you can enter! Hunt for big trees in your yard, your neighborhood, at a park or your school — anywhere in Lake Forest Park. 

Just be sure to follow COVID-19 safety rules, ask permission if you go on someone else’s property, and tell an adult if you’re searching away from home.

What are the contest tree species? Check these websites for descriptions and photos to help you learn to identify each kind!
When you find one of these trees that you think might be the BIGGEST of its kind, you or your parent can send an email to our City Arborist with this info:
  • your name, age, and school
  • a photo of the tree
  • the species (type) of tree
  • how big the tree is (measure the circumference of the trunk—the distance around it. Measure it at about 4-1/2 feet from the ground.)
  • where it is (GPS location or street address)
Send in your entry by midnight on Wednesday, June 30. Winners will be announced in July!


Steve Zemke June 6, 2021 at 1:18 PM  

Great idea - the biggest trees are the ones providing the most benefits and environmental services to those living in our cities. They are the survivors. We need to protect them as well as smaller trees that will eventually be needed to replace them when the older trees die.
Our trees and urban forests provide many benefits, including removing pollutants from the air, sequestering carbon, providing habitat for birds and other wildlife, reducing the heat island effect, reducing storm water runoff and providing mental and physical health benefits to those living in cities.

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