Royal Paulownia Tree at Bohrer Park Named Maryland State Champion
A large Royal Paulownia tree located on the grounds of Gaithersburg’s Bohrer Park at Summit Hall Farm was recently named Maryland State Champion as the largest tree of its species in the state. The tree has been entered in to the Maryland Big Tree Register. Coordinated by the Maryland Forest Service, the register has recorded data on the largest trees of each species growing in the state since 1925.
The Royal Paulownia at Bohrer Park, which was measured on February 8, 2012, has a circumference of 16’ 3”, a height of 62’, and an average crown width of 68’. In 2005 the same tree was recognized as the new Champion of its Species by the Montgomery County Forest Conservancy District Board.
Trees designated as State Champions are automatically considered for nomination into the National Register for Big Trees, a program of the American Forests conservation program.
Paulownia trees have been prized by the Chinese for centuries. The fast-growing tree, capable of growing 10 to15 feet in the first year, yields hardwood that is often used in making furniture, musical instruments, doors, moldings, window frames, poles, pulp, and paper. Paulownia can be commercially harvested in five to seven years and makes great veneer and plywood. The leaves of this versatile tree have even been used to make tea.
The announcement of the Maryland State Champion designation was made at the dedication of a new Memory Grove and Garden on May 16, 2012, a collaborative effort between the City of Gaithersburg and the Neighborhood Garden Club of Gaithersburg-Washington Grove. As part of an afforestation effort, the City, along with help from club members, high school students and residents of Asbury Methodist Village, recently planted new trees at the Memory Grove and in other locations at Bohrer Park. Long recognized as a steward of environmental sustainability, the City of Gaithersburg recently received designation as a Tree City USA from the National Arbor Day Foundation for the 23rd consecutive year.
For more information on the City’s forestry efforts, please contact the department of Public Works at 301-258-6370. For information on the Maryland Big Tree Register visit www.cecilfb.sailorsite.net/MD_Big_Tree.htm.