Cottonwood named county’s top tree for 2018

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Dan Siesel stands alongside his Eastern cottonwood, named Madison County’s Heritage Tree for 2018.

(Posted Nov. 30, 2018)

In 2008, The Ohio State University Extension adopted a “Why Trees Matter” campaign and that same year, the Madison County Master Gardeners started a Heritage Tree program.

The program recognizes trees located in Madison County and of an age and size deemed a “heritage tree.”

Past winners have included a burr magnolia, sugar maple, swamp oak and sycamore.

This year’s winner is an Eastern cottonwood owned by Dan Siesel and located at 207 E. High St., London. The tree is estimated at 80-plus feet tall and measures 17 feet in circumference at five feet off the ground with a crown spread at 75 feet.

According to Siesel, “The original owners of the property were Hiram and Emaline Richmond in 1870. The Richmonds opened the property to the London citizens most weekends for picnicking and relaxing. Emaline called the property ‘Elm Grove’ because of the massive elms that covered the property before the Dutch elm disease decimated the species here and throughout the country. The designation of this tree seems appropriate as a continuation of the original owners’ admiration and honor to the property history.”

Eastern cottonwood, populous deltoids, can reach a mature height of 70 to 100 feet with a life span of 50 to 200 years. Clad in gray bark with deep flat furrows, cottonwoods are trees of riverbanks and wet areas and are best known for the massive release of seed-bearing “cotton” in the spring, hence its name.

Think you have a Heritage Tree?  Contact the Extension Office at (740) 852-0975 for a 2019 Master Gardener Heritage Tree nomination form.

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