Record-Breaking Trees

Fun at the Beech

YMCA Camp Coniston Recognized for Hosting the Largest Beech Tree in Sullivan County

Once mid-December rolls around here in New Hampshire, mentioning that you’re “going to the beech” might turn a few heads. Yet that is exactly where’d you’d have to go to see the largest beech tree in Sullivan County, any time of year! NH Big Trees confirmed earlier this month that the beech in the forested area behind maintenance is the tallest in the 15-town county. But just how big is it?

Forestry Field Specialist Dode Gladders and Managing Forester Jeremy Turner with the famous beech tree, 2018.

NH Big Trees measured the specimen to be 96′ tall, have an average crown spread of 69′ feet, and have a 102″ circumference. Across the eastern United States and southeastern Canada, beech trees (fagus grandifolia) are generally 115′ at their highest. The effects of climate change have recently made beech trees (and their diseases) even more common in our area, however, this tree has been growing for decades to reach its championship level stature… and we’re happy to report it is in perfect health!

Certificate recognizing red maple at camp was one of the biggest statewide.

Surprisingly, this isn’t the first time┬ácamp has received recognition for sharing space with formidable flora. In 2016, NH Big Trees named YMCA Camp Coniston as steward of the county’s largest red maple (acer rubrum), which stands on second lake at 99′ tall and has a circumference of 121 inches. It’s even tied for the largest Red Maple in the state!

Try It Yourself!

Wondering how these measurements were gathered? The circumference is easy– measuring tape! As for the height? It’s measured using a clinometer! Clinometers come in all shapes and sizes, from electronic to bare-bones. The device utilizes trigonometry by comparing the top of the tree to where the observer is standing. It may sound complicated, but you can actually make your own at home! Afterward, you’ll be able to measure any tree, champion sized or otherwise. Click below to watch instructions on how to create and use a DIY clinometer.

Check out the rest of our blog for more camp news and fun! Questions? Comments? Leave them below or email jack@coniston.org!

Watch Below to Learn How to Make and use a DIY Clinometer!

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