Giant Mystery Tree…Part IV

Blackhaw, Viburnum prunifolium
A National record tree in Albemarle Co.?

Current State Record:
Circumference: 42
Height: 23
Crown: 30
Points: 72
Current National Record:
Circumference: 62 inches
Height: 26 feet
Spread: 35 feet
Points: 97
A group of nine returned to the recently discovered tree to get some more accurate measurements. Here’s what we came away with:
Circumference: 76 inches
Height: 33 feet
Spread: 40 feet
Points: 119

(The formula for figuring points looks like this: Trunk Circumference + Height + 1/4 Average Crown Spread)
The rules for measuring say that trunk circumference must be measured at 4.5 feet above the ground, unless the trunk divides prior to that. In this case one is supposed to measure the narrowest point of the trunk and report the height above ground that the measurement was taken. In the case of our Giant Mystery Tree, the narrowest point of the trunk is at 10 inches above the ground.

Next steps? It is time to get final verification on the species, which requires sending off a sample of the leaves. The property owner and grounds manager will be contacted as well. While we wait on the final verdict, nomination forms will be prepared. Here are the three places that nomination forms will be sent:

  • National Database: http://www.americanforests.org/resources/bigtrees/
  • State Database: http://www.fw.vt.edu/4h/bigtree/bigtree_search.cfm
  • Remarkable Trees of Virginia Project: http://www.cnr.vt.edu/4h/remarkabletree/index.cfm

If our identification is confirmed, and if we’ve measured anywhere near correctly, Albemarle County is host to a National Champion Black-Haw!Prior articles:

4 thoughts on “Giant Mystery Tree…Part IV

  1. Anonymous says:

    I received samples from Devin Floyd of the possible new blackhaw champ and the samples do look like blackhaw.
    -JS

  2. Anonymous says:

    It appears that we have a new champion black haw. Can you or Devin nominate it using our on-line form?
    -JK

  3. Cindy says:

    How exciting! What a find you have made. According to "Dirr's Hardy Trees and Shrubs", you have identified the tree correctly. Your description of the leaves and the picture I have seem identical. Michael Dirr states that it grows 12-15 ft. high but can reach 20 ft. The fruit is pinkish rose to bluish black at maturity. It is a great native species described by Florence Robinson as a "puritan with the rigidity of character similar to some of the hawthorns." V. prunifolium is similar to the V. lentago except the prunifolium is mildew resistent and has a superior foliage. It looks like a beautiful flowering tree in May. Good luck with your quest. Let me know when it becomes a state record.

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