Photographic Tour of Midcoast Maine’s Champion Trees

Posted Oct. 15, 2013, at 12:25 p.m.

Thursday, Oct. 17, 2013 6:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Location: Rockland Public Library, Rockland

For more information: Georges River Land Trust; 207-594-5166;

Jan Santerre, coordinator of Project Canopy and Maine’s Big Tree Program, will offer a slide-show presentation of the biggest trees in the midcoast region on Thursday, October 17, 2013, at 6:30 pm. This program is one of the Georges River Land Trust’s Walks and Talks events for 2013 and is co-sponsored by the Rockland Public Library. The presentation is free and will take place in the Community Room of the library.

“Big trees,” Jan points out, “capture people’s imaginations through their size, beauty, and the stories they tell.” Maine’s register of big trees recognizes the biggest native and naturalized tree species in the state. Champion trees for each species are based on a scoring formula that accounts for its trunk circumference, height, and crown spread. Maine’s Register of Big Trees is part of Project Canopy. The program is a partnership of MFS and GrowSmart Maine.

Since 1968, The Maine Forest Service has been compiling a list of the largest known specimens of native and naturalized trees in Maine. There is more to a champion tree than just its size – they are symbols of all the good work trees do for the quality of the environment and our quality of life. Big trees provide more cooling shade and more places for wildlife to perch and nest. They sequester more carbon dioxide, trap more pollutants, and purify more water.

“The stories of the people that care for the trees keep me going back,” Santerre states. “ There are stories of trees being planted by ship captain’s to make their southern bride’s feel at home here in Maine, others commemorating some historic event. One of my favorites is a European linden in Phippsburg, Maine, said to be planted in 1774. It is in a very picturesque spot along the coast, within a historic cemetery. The tree serves as a symbol for the congregational church which rests behind the tree atop a hill.”