Howard Lake-Waverly Herald, Dec. 13, 1999

Largest ash tree in Wright County determined

By Sandra Hessedal
Wright SWCD Secretary

Many Wright County residents have spent the last several months looking for Wright County's largest ash tree so that they might enter their special find in the Wright Soil and Water Conservation District's Largest Tree Contest.

Each year, for the past three years, a different tree specie has been the focus of this contest. In 1997, the specie was basswood, the winner had a 205 inches circumference. In 1998, the specie was oak and the winner had a 164 inch circumference. Now, the largest ash tree was identified.

Contest tree entries ranged in size from 34 inches to the winning tree of 180 inches. Wow! A circumference of 180 inches which equals 15 feet. That is almost five feet in diameter. The contest tree winner is located on the property of Virgil and Alice Schlotte, Cokato.

Entries are measured at chest height, 4.5 feet to be exact, around the tree to ascertain the circumference of the tree at that level. Field verification was made on two different sites by SWCD staff with the final decision recognizing the Schlottes' tree. A very close Buffalo runner-up had a branch located at the 4.5 foot level.

As the declared contest winners, the Schlottes will receive a recognition plaque and a gift certificate to a Wright County restaurant.

The district appreciates all the people who took the time to submit an entry. 1999 had beautiful fall weather and it was fun to have a reason to be outside and enjoy it.

Be sure and watch the Herald next fall when a new "largest tree" contest will open with a different tree specie to locate.

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