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Austin Peay State University has largest Douglas Fir Tree in Tennessee

Austin Peay State University - APSUClarksville, TN – Austin Peay State University (APSU) officially has the largest Douglas Fir tree in the state. Last month, the University of Tennessee Department of Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries, and the Tennessee Division of Forestry crowned the towering evergreen near APSU’s Pace Alumni Center at Emerald Hill as the state champion. The designation is part of the annual Tennessee Champion Tree Program.

“Our Douglas Fir measured 73 feet high, 113.04 inches in circumference and a crown spread of 33.2 feet,” Wes Powell, APSU director of landscape and grounds, said. “In its native range in the western United States, the Douglas Fir can reach 250-300 feet tall, but here in the south, ours is at the upper end of the growth range.”

Austin Peay State University is home to all of the state’s native trees – about 130 different species – prompting the Tennessee Urban Forestry Council to certify the University as an official arboretum last fall. The campus’ new state champion tree is the only Douglas Fir at Austin Peay.

“This shows that great care has been given to this tree over the past 150 years or so,” Powell said. “I estimate that this tree was probably planted during or shortly after construction of the Emerald Hill mansion around 1830.”

Austin Peay State Univeristy's state champion Douglas Fir. (APSU)For information about the APSU arboretum, visit www.apsu.edu/sustainability/Arboretum.php.

For information on the Champion Tree Program, visit https://fwf.tennessee.edu/champion-tree/.

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