A Great Year for the 2020 Oxford County Register of Big Trees

This has been an amazing year for the Oxford County Register of Big Trees!  Oxford County’s newest champion is a Balsam Poplar, or for those of you familiar with the works of local author C.A. Stephens, a Balm of Gilead. Located in Bethel at the home of Scott and Michele Cole, the tree is 105 feet tall, 194 inches in circumference, and has a total of 318.6 points. It’s a beauty, but not only did it become our latest county champ, it also became a state champion. In all, Oxford County lost 1 state champ and added 10 new trees to the Maine Register of Big Trees, for a total of 17 State Champions!

The other big news is that Oxford County now has its first 2 nominations for the National Registry of Big Trees! The two entries are a Mountain Paper Birch, also located in Bethel, and an Eastern Hophornbeam planted on Paris Hill in 1812.

Here’s a breakdown of where the Registry now stands:

New County Champions:

Balsam Poplar, Bethel, nominated and owned by Scott and Michele Cole

Bigtooth Aspen (co-champ), Paris, nominated by Rob and Jean Federico, owned by Komulainen

White Spruce (co-champ), Paris, nominated by Jean Federico, owned by Talley

Existing State Champions (prior to 2020):

American Basswood, Waterford, nominated and owned by John and Karen O’Brien

American Sycamore, Waterford, nominated and owned by Willoughby

Black Oak, Sumner, nominated and owned by Don and Lee Berry

Northern Red Oak, Lovell, nominated and owned by Fred Mitchell

Redcedar, Hebron, nominated by Fred Huntress and owned by Magers

Silver Maple, Fryeburg, nominated and owned by Russell

White Ash, Waterford, nominated by Helene Decker and owned by Colbath

New State Champions:

American Beech, Paris, nominated and owned by Woodworth

American Chestnut, Hebron, nominated and owned by Siekman and Crockett

Balsam Poplar, Bethel, nominated and owned by Scott and Michele Cole

Butternut, Buckfield, nominated and owned by Root Star Farm

Eastern Hophornbeam, nominated by Leroy Wilson, owned by Hammond

Eastern White Pine, Sumner, nominated and owned by Standard

Mountain Paper Birch, Bethel, nominated by MacKenzie Federico, owned by Ryan

Northern White Cedar, Lovell, nominated and owned by Shoo Hale

Staghorn Sumac, Sumner, nominated by MaKayla Federico, owned by Fournier

Tamarack, Milton Plantation, nominated by MacKenzie Federico, owned by Billings

Nominees for National Registry:

Mountain Paper Birch, Bethel, nominated by MacKenzie Federico, owned by Ryan

National Registry of Big Trees

Eastern Hophornbeam, nominated by Leroy Wilson, owned by Hammond

Many of these great trees are still living because they are growing deep in a forest, while others      are located on a roadside or main byway. Many of the tree owners are very proud of their trees and love to share with interested folks, but please check with OCSWCD for permission to visit. For a copy of the 2020 Oxford County Registry of Big Trees, please contact OCSWCD by emailing or calling us at 207.744.3111. The new, updated Maine Register of Big Trees may be viewed online at

The Oxford County Register of Big Trees 

To see all 67 of the native Maine trees, or to get your entry form, click below.

Updated Tree List 2021 Tree List
Click here Entry form

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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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