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Deadline to enter Eastern Panhandle annual largest tree contest nears

July 20, 2012

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — The deadline for Eastern Panhandle residents to enter the annual largest tree contest is July 31.

“After last year finding the largest sugar maple tree in not only the Eastern Panhandle but also the entire state in the Shepherdstown area, we are now looking for the largest pine or evergreen tree in the Eastern Panhandle,” contest sponsor Del. John Overington said in a news release.

Overington, R-Berkeley, said he again will donate $500 to the winner or the charity of their choice in what is now the fourth year of the contest.

Overington said 2011 winner Diana Suttenfield indicated she was going to use the prize for the care of the sugar maple tree, which also was deemed the largest in the state.

The circumference of each tree entered should be measured at 4.5 feet from the ground and if the tree is not on your property, people should inform the property owner.

Other previous winners are Kaitlyn Price, who found the largest oak tree, a Chinkapin Oak, in the Shepherdstown-Scrabble area in 2010, and Dan DeSarno, who found a Sycamore tree in the Ranson area, Overington said.

Overington said the Eastern Panhandle Conservation District and the state Division of Forestry are assisting with the project in recognizing the winner at the EPCD Fall banquet in October and with official tree measurement using established standards.

Entries may be submitted to the Eastern Panhandle Conservation District, which can be reached at 304-263-4376 or by email at epcd@wvca.us.

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