Big trees in the southern forest inventory
Big trees fascinate people worldwide, inspiring respect, awe, and oftentimes, even controversy. This paper uses a modified version of American Forests’ Big Trees Measuring Guide point system (May 1990) to rank trees sampled between January of 1998 and September of 2007 on over 89,000 plots by the Forest Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Inventory and Analysis Program in the Southern United States. Trees were ranked across all States and for each State. There were 1,354,965 trees from 12 continental States, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands sampled. A bald cypress (Taxodium distichum) in Arkansas was the biggest tree (according to the point system) recorded in the South, with a diameter of 78.5 inches and a height of 93 feet (total points = 339.615). The tallest tree recorded in the South was a 152-foot tall pecan (Carya illinoinensis) in Mississippi (total points = 321.960), while the tree with the largest diameter was the bald cypress mentioned above.