A reward will be paid to “who finds this particular tree, identifies it and measures it,” said Tree Board adviser John Thomason of ABC Tree Service.
The reward will be presented at the Cleveland Arbor Day recognition at the location of said Big Old Tree on April 26.
“There are a lot of trees in backyards, vacant lots and other properties that we don’t know about,” Thomason said. “One of the things Cleveland Urban Forester Dan Hartman wants is to identify them on the city maps for information for the city and residents.”
He said the plan is to “keep an eye” on the unoffending tree. Hopefully it will not be removed for a road, building or sewer line.
“We’re doing this to try to preserve the tree canopy in Cleveland. We already know we’ve lost some,” he said. “Too many times I get a call from someone who is afraid a tree will hit the house. Too many times they want to do improper work or simply remove the tree from a lack of understanding. In most cases, it dosen’t need to be removed.”
Ask property owners for permission to check trees and then follow the directions on how to measure the suspect tree.
“A 100-foot tape would be best to use, along with regular size screwdrivers for markers. The stick or part of a yard stick can be as short as 12 inches, but it might be better if it’s 18 inches or longer for height measurement,” he said. “The circumference of a large tree will be measured in inches, such as 150 inches, which will be verified and translated into a diameter measurement by use of a special tree tape.”
Amy Banks, Jo Benjamin and Matt Coleman have volunteered to make the final selection. Cleveland City Urban Forester Dan Hartman and Thomason will perform the inspections and take final measurements. Their recommendations will be forwarded to the committee.
Please send tips by email or mail with the location and size of “the Big Old Tree” before April 1. Emails can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org, and forms are available at the Cleveland Municipal Building to be mailed to: Dan Hartman, Urban Forester, City of Cleveland, P.O. Box 1519, Cleveland, TN 37364.
How to measure a big tree
A long piece of string, a tape measure, a stick as long as your arm and four sticks for stakes are needed to do a preliminary check for a champion-quality tree.
Step 1: Measure the trunk 4 ½ feet above the ground.
Step 2: Measure the height by holding a stick at arm's length with the top of the stick at eye level. Walk backward from the tree. When the hand holding the stick lines up with the base of the tree and the top of the stick lines up with the top of the tree, mark the spot.
Step 3: Measure the crown by looking for the widest part of the crown and mark the end of each pair of branches by placing a stake in the ground. Next, find the narrowest part of the crown and mark the ends of its branches. Measure the distance between the two pairs of stakes, then add the two distances and divide by two to get the average width of the crown.