Matthew Olsen, assistant professor for Environmental Science, was strolling through the Wharton State Forest when he discovered a massive Post Oak tree. While searching for trees to tap for maple syrup (as part of Stockton’s sustainable syrup-producing project), Olsen noticed the significant size of the tree and later returned to measure it with students.
Using the American Forests’ national system of measurement, the tree was recorded to stand at 64 feet tall. It had a circumference of 11 feet and 3 inches, and a crown spread of 80 feet.
Currently, there are more than 500 champion trees in New Jersey, but only 214 are visible to the public. Thanks to a letter from Joseph Bennett, an assistant regional forester from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, it was confirmed that of these known champion trees, the Post Oak in Batsto is the largest in the state.
Olsen’s Dendrology class continues the work the New Jersey Forest service has been conducting since the 1930s; contributing to the research, preservation, and appreciation of state trees.
Read the full press release from University Relations and Marketing here.
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