A True Champion

Champion Tulip Poplar - Liriodendron tulipifera

Champion Tulip Poplar – Liriodendron tulipifera

These trees represent some of the oldest, heartiest, and most beautiful trees our city has to offer.

Trees Atlanta

A few weeks ago we learned that the Champion Tulip Poplar tree for Atlanta is right here in Peachtree Park on Peachtree Drive!  (You can read all about the Champion Tree Program [1] on our page on Special Trees).

Champion Tulip Poplar

Champion Tulip Poplar looking up

The owners were kind enough to show us this tree in their backyard and tell us about discovering its Champion status.  Since they moved into the house four years ago, the tree has received quite a lot of attention.  Eli Dickerson, an ecologist at Fernbank Museum of Natural History, has measured the tree and helped place it on Atlanta’s Champion Tree List for 2016. [2]  (Look on Page 4 at the top of the list on the second line.  It says that the tree is in Peachtree Hills, but should say Peachtree Park.)

This beautiful Tulip Poplar has a Champion Tree score so high that it is close to being a Champion Tree for the entire state of Georgia!

The way the land slopes steeply down from the street masks the true magnificent size but when you see it up close, it’s jaw-dropping.  It measures over 140 feet in height (that’s as tall as a 14-story building) and has a circumference of over 19 feet.  The crown, or ‘spread’ is 68 feet. [3]  We estimate this tree is between 150 and 220 years old. [4]

The owners are humble and proud to have this tree in their charge, and are intent on being good stewards.  They first had it checked for structural flaws and disease (it’s in great shape), and then went a step further by installing lightening rods to protect it from lightning strikes. It was a fairly involved and expensive project.  There are now three large gauge copper wires running from the top of the tree to long copper stakes driven deep into the ground some distance away.

We think it’s awesome that our neighborhood has so many wonderful old trees such as this.  Even better that so many people who live here, like the owners of this Tulip Poplar, realize their enormous value and do so much to keep them safe and preserve them for us all the enjoy.

References and Additional Information

[1]  Trees Atlanta: Seeking out Atlanta’s Champion Trees
[2]  Atlanta’s Champion Trees – 2016
[3]  Georgia Forestry Commission: Georgia Champion Tree Program – How to Score a Tree
[4]  The Intown Hawk: Tree Size and Age

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