Forestry

2020 Oxford County Register of Big Trees

We’re going to open our Oxford County Register of Big Trees search early this year because lots of folks are spending time hiking, fishing and spending time in the great outdoors, so let’s head for the woods and look for some trees! Here is where the Oxford County Register of Big Trees stands at the start of the 2020 season:

  • 45 of the 67 (Eastern Cottonwood has been added) Maine native species in Oxford County have been found. The total points are determined by a licensed forester who measures circumference (in inches) + height (in feet) + ¼ of crown spread.
  • The town of Waterford continues to lead the county with 9 champion trees.
  • The County Champion with the most points overall is still an enormous Silver maple located in Fryeburg with a total of 405.13 points.
  • The County Champ with the least number of points is a Common Juniper with a total of 12 points. Maine has a Common Juniper in the National Register of Big Trees with a total of 38 points.
  • There are 5 sets of co-champions – Bigtooth Aspen, Black Cherry, Red Maple, Shagbark Hickory and American Chestnut (There are 3 American Chestnuts within 10 points of each other in Oxford County!). One of the Yellow Birch co-champs had to be cut down leaving the one in Paris as County Champion, and a new Shagbark Hickory measuring within 10 points of the champ was found in Center Lovell, making them our new co-champs.
  • Oxford County has 7 State Champions – American Basswood (S.Waterford), American Sycamore (Waterford), Black Oak (Sumner), Eastern Redcedar (Hebron), Silver Maple (Fryeburg), Swamp White Oak (Paris), and White Ash (Waterford); and 1 State Co-Champion – Northern Red Oak (Lovell).
  • There are presently 13 nominees for State Champion – Trembling Aspen, American Beech, Mountain Paper Birch, Northern White Cedar, Hawthorn, Eastern Hemlock, Eastern Hophornbeam, Scarlet Oak, Eastern White Pine, Pitch Pine, Striped Maple, White Spruce and Staghorn Sumac.

There are still 22 different trees to find! If we go by the information given us in Forest Trees of Maine, Centennial Editon 1908-2008, here are a few clues to help you find some of these elusive trees:

  • Jack Pine could be found in the area around Upton.
  • Sweet Birch might be found from Rumford and Newry south along the banks of streams or moist, rich upland soils and on younger trees the bark has a very pronounced flavor of wintergreen.
  • American Hornbeam might be found from Waterford northeast to Greenwood, Woodstock, Milton and Rumford.
  • Black Tupelo might be found from Otisfield north and east to Norway, Sumner and Canton. It has also been reported on the South side of Pleasant Mountain in Denmark on flat, open, wet areas. Black Tupelo, though not large, can be as old as 500 years.
  • Sassafrass might be found in the Waterford, Sweden, Stoneham area.

Many of those yet to find are smaller trees that may be found in wet areas, along streams and ponds. Look for Balsam Poplar, Black Willow, Sweet Birch, Black Ash, Black Tupelo and Nannyberry while you’re out there fishing, and Slippery Elm trees are believed to have disappeared from Maine’s landscape so if you should find one it would be amazing! I have had older folks tell me they were “dosed” with slippery elm as a child for sore throat, which means it used to grow in the Paris area…

There are great photos of all of these trees online to help with identification. Get outdoors and enjoy this great, fun, summer project with your family or start a little competition among friends.

Owners of champion trees receive a certificate and nominators of winning trees receive t-shirts and copies of Forest Trees of Maine, Centennial Edition 1908-2008. The Oxford County Register of Big Trees is sponsored by Oxford County Soil & Water Conservation District. For more information, Native Tree List, Entry form or a copy of the 2019 Oxford County Register of Big Trees, please email oxfordcountyswcd@gmail.com.

The Oxford County Register of Big Trees

 To see all 67 of the native Maine trees, or to get your entry form, click below.
Click here Entry form
Click here for the Current Oxford County Registry of Big Trees List 2019 tree list

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Skidder Bridge Rental 

Do you need to cross a stream on a timber harvest? Using a temporary skidder bridge can be an excellent way to cross a stream in an environmentally sensitive way.
The Oxford County Soil & Water Conservation District rents steel bridges to loggers for use on logging operations. The rental fee is $75/mo.
Steel bridges are 20’ long and come in a set of three 4’ wide panels weighing approximately 3800 pounds each.
To check on bridge availability give us a call: (207) 744-3111
Technical advice and assistance on installation of temporary stream crossings is available from Maine Forest Service district foresters. Here in Oxford County your District Forester is Mike Richard (207) 441-3276
Click here to download the Skidder Bridge Rental Contract Skidder BridgeRental Contract

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Invasive Forest Pest Outreach

 In 2016, Maine Soil & Water Conservation Districts received a grant from the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry (DACF) to present programs for the Invasive Forest Pest Outreach Project – as well as displays at fairs and other events – in 12 priority counties: Androscoggin/Sagadahoc, Cumberland, Hancock, Kennebec, Knox/Lincoln, Franklin, Oxford, Somerset, Waldo and York. The outreach has since been expanded to cover the entire state.

The following activities are covered under the grant and are available to you.

  • Workshops, trainings, and/or walk & talks targeted at local landowners and forest professionals throughout the state in conjunction, when possible, with Invasive Species and/or EAB awareness weeks. – Public Service Announcements will be provided to radio and news outlets in advance of these events to generate greater awareness of the threats to our forests and woodlots from invasive forest pests. (Also, Facebook posts, websites, local papers, etc)
  • Invasive species displays at local events and fairs
  • Municipal outreach through the Maine Municipal Association (MMA) and local municipal associations for municipal officials, public works department personnel and other local government officials through prepared folders and/or regional meetings to provide strategies and draft management plans to address invasive forest pests in their communities.
  • Invasive Forest Pest Information Packets (to be made available at district events/offices) will be produced in all 16 conservation districts in Maine to significantly expand statewide outreach throughout the year.

For more information or to schedule a presentation or event in your area, please contact your local Soil & Water Conservation District Office.

Field Trip to Concord, NH 

In October of 2017 members from several Maine Soil & Water Conservation Districts traveled to the area around Concord, New Hampshire to see the damage done by Emerald Ash Borer. We first toured a shopping mall in the downtown area whose perimeter had been planted with Ash trees- all were damaged and dying (top). We then visited some other areas where the EAB pupa was readily in evidence after being scraped with a draw shave (bottom). The impact on the community was certainly in the hundreds of thousands of dollars but the loss of the Ash goes way beyond the dollars lost. This was a sobering, eye-opening view of the damage done by one small forest pest.

 

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