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Record Big Tree Discovered At Susquehanna State Park

Harford County, Md. (October 14, 2011) - A huge yellow poplar tree found at Susquehanna State Park was determined to be the second largest yellow poplar in Maryland, and the second largest tree in Harford County. The tree was discovered earlier this month by John Riley, a former Maryland State Forester.

“Riley served as Maryland State Forester from 1991 to 1995,” said John Bennett, volunteer coordinator of Maryland Big Tree Program (MBTP). “During that time he enthusiastically supported the Maryland Big Tree Program and therefore was thrilled to be able to find a tree to add to Maryland’s database of some 2,300 trees.”

This tree is located along the Blue Trail of Susquehanna State Park, about 300 yards from the start of the trail heading north. The tree is slightly right of the trail on a steep slope. It has a circumference of 24 feet and 8 inches, a height of 119 feet and an average crown spread of 127.5 feet. The total point value is 447.

The current Maryland State Champion yellow poplar has a total point value of 467 and is located in Montgomery County. The Harford tree actually has a greater circumference and crown spread, but the Montgomery tree is much taller.

The Maryland Big Tree Program is now run by volunteers from the Maryland Association of Forest Conservancy District Boards with the support and sponsorship of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources Forest Service. Big tree owners who wish to nominate their own big tree may access this program at

The universal point system was developed by Maryland’s first State Forester, Fred Besley. The formula is: circumference in inches + height in feet + one fourth of the average crown spread in feet.

   October 14, 2011

Contact: Josh Davidsburg
410-260-8002 office I 410-507-7526 cell

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages nearly a half-million acres of public lands and 17,000 miles of waterways, along with Maryland's forests, fisheries and wildlife for maximum environmental, economic and quality of life benefits. A national leader in land conservation, DNR-managed parks and natural, historic and cultural resources attract 11 million visitors annually. DNR is the lead agency in Maryland's effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, the state's number one environmental priority. Learn more at