New Mex­ico’s cham­pion trees re­tain crowns

The Taos News - - ENVIRONMENT -

Taos’ prize-win­ning tree didn’t let us down this year. A Good­ding black wil­low that’s among the big­gest trees in the United States has kept its place in the an­nual 2018 Cham­pion Trees Na­tional Reg­is­ter, which lists “the largest and most im­pres­sive trees of their kind.”

Taos’ wil­low stands 110 feet tall, has a sprawl­ing crown of more than 94 feet and mea­sures 351 inches in cir­cum­fer­ence. It was nom­i­nated by lo­cal ar­borist Paul Bryan Jones in 2010.

“When the black wil­low tree was des­ig­nated the state cham­pion, I knew our unique high desert plateau was and is re­silient for trees,” Jones said in a 2017 in­ter­view with The Taos News. “I started hunt­ing for more big trees. We have some of the largest, old­est trees species in the South­west.”

“Big tree hunters from across the coun­try dou­bled down and found an al­most un­prece­dented num­ber of new cham­pi­ons – more than 170 – to add to the list of Amer­ica’s giants,” read a press re­lease from Amer­i­can Forests, a Wash­ing­ton, D.C.based or­ga­ni­za­tion.

Keep­ing big trees healthy is an im­por­tant part of ad­dress­ing cli­mate change. As El­iza Kret­z­mann, the Big Tree Pro­gram co­or­di­na­tor, ex­plained: “Large-di­am­e­ter trees make up about half of the ma­ture for­est biomass across the world. The amount of car­bon that forests can se­quester de­pends mostly on the abun­dance of large trees. Thus, big trees rep­re­sent po­ten­tially large con­trols on car­bon cy­cling world­wide.”

Taos News file photo

This Good­ding black wil­low in Taos is one of the largest trees of its species in the coun­try.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.