Joe Howard founded the champion trees program of Montgomery County and shares his passion for local trees with students and the community. When Joe Howard was growing up, he spent a lot of time in trees. As an adult, he turned that interest into a countywide program that identifies and ranks trees by size. A champion tree is determined by three measurements — a system devised in 1925 by a Marylander named Fred Besley. First, the circumference of the tree is measured at 4.5 feet off the ground. Second, the tree’s height is measured. Third, 25 percent of the tree’s average crown spread is calculated. The three measurements are added together in total points. The tree with the most points is named the champion…more
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