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Maryland Big Tree Program Registers Twelve Champions on SU's Campus
SU Horticulturist Richard Shaw examines SU's county-champion American elm on Holloway Hall Lawn.

Maryland Big Tree Program Registers Twelve Champions on SU's Campus

By SU Public Relations

SALISBURY, MD---As Salisbury University approaches its centennial in 2025, the campus and the successes of its people have continued to grow, as have the very trees that stood during the institution’s earliest years.

Some even have been coined official “champions”. 

The Maryland Big Tree Program, in connection with the Maryland State Association of Forest Conservancy District Boards and Department of Natural Resources (DNR), recently recertified 10 trees on SU’s campus as the largest of their species (“champions”) in the county or state and declared an additional two. 

“It was an incredible honor to have ten champions in 2013 and to have more added this year shows that SU’s history continues to build with even more growth to come,” said Julie Golightly, SU horticulturist and arboretum curator. “The recognition is another testament to how dedicated and knowledgeable our horticulture staff is and the care they give to our beautiful campus.”

Trees are re-measured every 10 years and assigned points based on the total circumference of its trunk, height and average crown spread. 

This fall, Maryland Big Tree committee members Joli McCathran and Geary Schwemmer joined the SU Horticulture Department to document the University’s trees.

The DNR’s Maryland Forest Service has been collecting data on the largest trees of each species growing in the state since 1925. All SU state record-holders will be nominated for inclusion in the National Register of Big Trees, an initiative of the conservation organization American Forests.

“It’s possible the trees we plant today will someday become champions through the next centennial and be enjoyed by many future generations,” said Golightly. 

SU’s state champion trees include a Korean Pine and two Crimean Lindens.

In addition to the state champions, county champions include a Black Oak, Japanese Zelkova, Eastern Redbud, White Oak, American Elm, Deodar Cedar and Eastern Red Cedar. 

SU’s champion trees, including year, measurements, scientific names and photos, are identified by a yellow star and can be found on the interactive SU arboretum website and mobile app. 

More information on the program and official records can be found on the Maryland Big Trees Project website.

Learn more about opportunities to Make Tomorrow Yours at the SU website.