Sierra Club trains for Big Trees of BG project

The Sierra Club’s Mammoth Cave Group trains May 28 in preparation for the first measuring effort of the “Big Trees of BG” project.

To promote an active stewardship of trees, the Sierra Club Mammoth Cave Group and the Bowling Green Tree Advisory Board partnered to document the city’s tallest and fattest residents.

In June, volunteers measured the trunks, canopies and heights of the largest known trees. A pecan tree claimed the tallest and widest at 107 feet and 100 feet, respectively, and an Osage orange tree had the thickest trunk with a 20-foot circumference.

On Sunday, the group will hold a community celebration of the largest trees. It will be from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Warren County Public Library Bob Kirby Branch.

There will be details on the “Big Trees of BG,” a broader discussion on the importance of preserving urban forests and “tree-derivative” refreshments, which will include maple syrup, nuts, fruits, chocolate and chestnuts from one Sierra Club member’s home.

“The goal is to help the public better understand the benefit of trees,” said Jared Weaver, city arborist.

Later this week, there will be an online database posted to bgky.org/tree with the trees’ dimensions and quantifiable benefits, including the estimated amount of oxygen they produce, pollution they absorb and the dollars they give back to the community.

“It’s been well documented that exposure to trees and green spaces improves people’s health,” Weaver said.

And with increasing global temperatures, trees play an important role in sequestering carbon and producing shade.

“If we ever need the shade, it’s today,” said Eleanor Bower, chair of the Mammoth Cave Group.

Sunday’s event is free and open to the public. “I invite everyone to come out and share our love of trees,” Weaver said.

The Sierra Club also invited the “stewards” who share land with the trees.

“We don’t call them owners. The trees live longer,” Bower said.

Next year, the Sierra Club will measure a dozen more trees. They’ve already spotted several trees and encourage people to reach out about other big trees not included in the initial roundup. If interested in participating or sharing a potential big tree, call Weaver at 270-393-3111.

“We hope to continue it as an annual event,” Weaver said.

– Follow reporter Caroline Eggers on Twitter @eggersdailynews or visit bgdailynews.com.

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