Deadline to enter tree contest nears

June 22, 2011

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — Time is running out for area residents to cash in on an Eastern Panhandle lawmaker’s large tree contest.

The deadline to nominate a maple tree as being the region’s largest is June 30, according to Del. John Overington, R-Berkeley, who is offering a $500 cash prize for the winning entry.

The winner also will receive a copy of the poem “Trees” by Joyce Kilmer.

“Trees have special meaning for me, and I am glad this contest is becoming an annual event,” Overington said in a news release about the contest.

“As humans, we use oxygen and give off carbon dioxide. Trees and plants do the opposite,” Overington said.

Trees will be measured using the criteria of the West Virginia Big Tree Program. Points will be determined based on the tree’s circumference at 4.5 feet above the ground, total height and crown spread, and the tree with the most points wins the contest. Trees will be verified by the Division of Forestry.  

Last year’s winner, Shepherd University student Kaitlyn Price, found the largest oak tree, a Chinkapin oak, which was 20 feet in circumference. Dan DeSarno found the largest tree in 2009, a sycamore near Ranson, W.Va.

For more information about the contest, contact Sara Wuertenberg at 304-263-4376, ext. 116, or by going to

The winner will be recognized at the Eastern Panhandle Conservation District’s fall banquet. The Conservation District and state Division of Forestry also are involved in the large tree contest.

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