Stockton University class discovers champion tree in Wharton State Forest
GALLOWAY — A Stockton University maple syrup project that started with a walk through Batsto Village in Wharton State Forest, ended with the discovery of a champion tree, now recorded as the largest of its kind in New Jersey.
Matthew Olson, assistant professor of Environmental Science at Stockton, stumbled on the giant post oak tree while looking for red maple trees with syrup tapping potential.
Olsen then returned with the dendrology students to measure the tree. Dendrology explores the anatomy, physiology, and ecology of trees.
According to a letter from Joseph Bennett, a state Department of Environmental Protection assistant regional forester, the discovered tree is the largest post oak in Burlington County and the largest in the state.
The champion tree measures 64 feet high, 11 feet 3 inches at its circumference, and has a crown spread of 80 feet.
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