FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 6, 2020
Contact: John Scott
Parks and Recreation Department
Dawn Redwood Declared Second State Champion Tree in Wilson Park
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Wilson Park now claims title to two state champion trees. On Tuesday, January 21, Washington County forester, Kevin Hickie confirmed the measurements of a Dawn Redwood (Metasequoia glyptostroboides) at Wilson Park as being the largest Dawn Redwood in the state. In October, a Persimmon tree in Wilson Park was confirmed to be the Arkansas State Champion Persimmon Tree. Both trees were nominated by Nathan Albertson, grounds crew leader and certified arborist with the City of Fayetteville Parks and Recreation Department. State champion trees are approved and recognized by the Arkansas Forestry Commission. Parks and Recreation staff will place a plaque near the tree to celebrate this unique specimen in our City’s oldest park.
State champion trees are decided by using a “Bigness Index,” a formula calculating the circumference, height, and 25% of the crown width. The Dawn Redwood tree measures 54-feet tall, has a crown width of 4 feet and a trunk circumference of 9 feet. The Dawn Redwood tree has a Bigness Index of 172. View photos of the tree on the state’s webpage.
The Dawn Redwood tree was thought to be extinct for five million years until it was rediscovered in China in the early 1940s. The seeds were brought to the United States in 1947 and distributed to botanical gardens and universities across the country. It has been cultivated as a popular ornamental tree ever since. Fossil records indicate that this species of tree has existed for 50 million years.
The State Champion Dawn Redwood tree is located southeast of the iconic “castle” in Wilson Park. Through photos and GIS aerial images, Urban Forestry found this tree was planted after the castle was built and estimate this tree to be almost 40-years-old.
To learn about the City of Fayetteville’s Urban Forestry program and its Amazing Trees of Fayetteville project, please visit this website