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Contact: Matt Johnson, 786-335-3679
HOMESTEAD, FLORIDA – A new national champion tree, a seven-year-apple (Casasia clusiifolia), was crowned in Biscayne National Park. The seven-year-apple joins four other trees in the park receiving the 2014 national champion designation from American Forests.
The current champion trees vary in height from 25 to 45 feet, yet they are judged not simply based on height. Theyhe park now has the largest seven-year-apple in the nation.
The park includes many trees that are unusually large for their particular species. Before park land was protected in 1968, the islands were logged and cleared for agriculture. Some of the trees escaped being logged or grew back to become champion trees. There are now five national champions in the park including the ink wood, blolly, pigeon plum, Guiana plum and seven-year-apple. Past park champions include a paradise tree, Bahama strong bark, milk bark and joewood.
The American Forests National Big Tree Program recognizes the beauty and critical ecosystem services provided by the nation's biggest and oldest trees. More than 750 champions are crowned each year and documented in their registry. The goal of the program is to preserve and promote the iconic stature of these living monarchs and to educate people about the key role the remarkable trees and forests play in sustaining a healthy environment. The National Park Service protects such trees found within park borders, along with the ecosystems that sustain them, for future generations to enjoy.
To view the register of national champion trees, or nominate your favorite tree, visit the American Forests website at http://www.americanforests.org/our-programs/bigtree/. For more information about Biscayne National Park, please visit the park website at www.nps.gov/bisc, or follow the park on Facebook at www.facebook.com/biscaynenps, or Twitter at www.twitter.com/biscaynenps.
About the National Park Service: More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America's 401 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at www.nps.gov.