The Standard Journal

Miss Georgia Peach to be held March 18


The Cartersvil­le Purple Hurricane football team is not the only state champion in Bartow County. On Thursday, Bartow officials celebrated Arbor Day with a program at the county’s state champion white oak tree.

Bartow County Commission­er Steve Taylor stretched and stretched his arms but couldn’t even reach a third of the way around the trunk of the tree, which is 21 feet in circumfere­nce. The tree is rooted at Spring Bank Plantation off Hall Station Road near Kingston.

The Georgia Forestry Commission scores champion trees using a formula that involves three measuremen­ts — circumfere­nce, height and crown spread. The tree overlookin­g Connesena Creek is 103 feet high and has a 128-foot crown spread.

Mark McClellan, Georgia Champion Tree Program coordinato­r, said the tree at Spring Bank, which was named a Landmark and Historic Tree in 2002, was remeasured last year and scored higher than the past three champions in East Point, Fayettevil­le and Cairo.

“It is estimated that it is 300 years old, making it a mature tree of around 135 years when the Rev. Charles Wallace Howard establishe­d a private school (at Spring Bank in) 1852,” said Missy Phillips, Bartow County community developmen­t official.

The tree was there in April 12, 1862, was only feet away as the Texas chased the General toward Adairsvill­e during the Civil War’s Great Locomotive Chase.

Phillips said the tree has been providing shade and holding back erosion from Connesena Creek, keeping the creek water cool and protecting several different endangered fish species for close to three centuries.

The Spring Bank Plantation is now a hunting preserve that is part of Barnsley Gardens.

The GFC website indicates Floyd County has a state and national champion nutmeg hickory, Florida maple and Alabama black cherry trees. Other state champions in Floyd include a nuttall oak, both northern and southern catalpa trees, and a Japanese maple.

The 2017 Miss Georgia Peach Scholarshi­p Pageant will be held on March 18 at the Pettigrew Center at Fort Valley State University.

Winners serve as official ambassador­s of the Georgia Peach Festival in June and are recognized by the Georgia Legislatur­e and Governor. Any Georgia girl ages 4 - 24 is eligible.

Applicatio­ns will be accepted for the first 15 in each group or the number received on the day 15 arrives.

The deadline to enter is March 11 or sooner if the group fills up. Optional talent is offered in all groups except Tiny Miss. All winners receive cash prizes with the Miss Winner receiving a $500 cash scholarshi­p.

Admission to the pageant event is free.

For more info, please call 478-923-3846 or 478954-6819, email at missgapeac­hpageant@ email. com, visit our website at www.missgeorgi­apeach. org or see our Facebook event page.

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