National Champion Sycamore Tree
updated: Sep 24, 2012, 1:11 PM
Source: City of Goleta
A large tree in Goleta was recently designated as the National Champion
California Sycamore Tree. It is located close to the San Jose Creek in the area where the
City plans to construct a park in Old Town Goleta near the corner of Kellogg and Hollister
Avenues. The tree is referred to as the "Sister Witness Tree" because of its proximity to the
"Witness Tree" located across Hollister Avenue.
The Sister Witness Tree measures 52.2' around, has a 95.5' canopy, and a height of 94'.
According to the American Forester's point formula of one point for every inch of width
(626), one point for ¼ of the crown spread in feet (23), and one point for every foot in
height (94), the total points for this tree equates to 743, which makes it the largest
California sycamore in the State of California and the nation.
This is the second National Champion verified in the Goleta Old Town area. The other
champion tree is the Australian willow in the courtyard of the Community Center that
received the National Champion designation earlier this year.
"Having not one, but two National Champions in our City is quite an honor. It's a testament
to the importance of trees in our area and the community's desire to preserve these
treasures," said Mayor Ed Easton. "Goleta is proud to be a Tree City."
Goleta Valley Beautiful (GVB) nominated the Sister Witness Tree for this designation after
rescuing the tree from overgrowth. GVB is a non-profit organization that works in Goleta to
insure the beauty of the Goleta Valley.
"With the help of the California Conservation Corps we removed two two-story ball palms
growing out of the trunk of the Sister Witness Tree," said Goleta Valley Beautiful Executive
Director Ken Knight. "Once the overgrowth was removed, we partnered with the youth
group Palabra to measure the tree, and verified the results with local tree experts Bill
Spiewak and Randy Baldwin. We then sent the measurements in to have the tree certified
as a National Champion."
The National Register of Big Trees is a list of the largest recorded living specimens of each
tree variety found in the continental United States. A tree on this list, maintained by the
non-profit American Forests organization, is called a National Champion Tree. To be
eligible for this designation, the species must be recognized as native or naturalized in the
continental United States.
The tree is not currently available for public viewing because the site is fenced off for
park improvements and is being used to house the San Jose Creek Project construction
Send this picture as a postcard
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