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One Week Left to Enter The Putney Big Tree Quest Competition! See The Big Trees Your Neighbors Have Found!

Only a week left to submit your big trees and creative entries to the Putney Big Tree Quest! Submit by Nov. 1. News from the Putney Big Tree Quest:

The Putney Big Tree Quest made Vermont Public! UVM student Emma Otten gives an overview of the Quest at

The Quest saw its most entries yet, over 20 this week, with quite a number coming in from Rich Carter and students at Greenwood School, and Jim and Carolyn Olivier. Among the Greenwood School entries are a 210” Sugar Maple and a 127.5” Eastern Hemlock. Jim and Carolyn Olivier’s black birch entry is reputed to be the biggest black birch in Windham County, but they’re not sure how to measure it: check out the photo! Carolyn Mayo Brown shared a 215” White Ash.

Participants in the Putney Big Tree Quest Great Meadows Walk on Sunday, October 16 spent much of their time seeing if the butternut orchard, tended by the Abenaki for years prior to being noted by the first Putney settlers in the mid-1700’s, left behind any descendants. Local Abenaki spokesperson Rich Holschuh, in his late June talk at the Putney Library, had mentioned the existence of the butternut orchard at the north end of the Great Meadow. That butternut orchard was also mentioned in the Fortnightly Club’s book “Putney 1753-1953”. In that book local researchers wrote: “The Great Meadow, in the eastern part of town where settlement began, was covered with lofty yellow pine interspersed with some white pine, white oak and butternut. On the north end of the meadow many butternut trees grew, and it was called ‘Butternut Orchard’…There are signs that the Abenaki (Sokokis in the Putney area) lived along the ridgeline west of the “Great Meadow”.

On Sunday, the group found what they thought were younger butternuts, and one larger (75″ diameter) tree. Putney Conservation Commission member Ann Kerry, one of the walk leaders, said: “today’s butternuts (if they are butternuts) would be one part of the Meadow’s ecosystem found by settlers which was not totally destroyed. White pines and white oak are gone from the Great Meadow–as from many other similar areas–probably never to return.” The walkers also measured a 132” cottonwood and a 152” box elder, pictured here.

There are a number of tree species for which there are no entries yet in the Putney Big Tree Quest. Now’s your chance!
Black Birch
Yellow Birch
White Birch
Silver Maple
Striped Maple
Red Spruce
Hop Hornbeam (are these the same thing?)
American Elm
Bitternut Hickory
Red Pine
Balsam Poplar
Big Toothed Aspen

Save Tuesday, Nov. 15, 3:30-4:30, for the Putney Big Tree Wrap-up event at the Putney Public Library. Prizes, slideshow and tree-themed treats!

Find out more about submitting a Putney Big Tree entry on the Putney Public Library website (, or contact Evie Lovett and Paul LeVasseur at Or just go out find a big tree, measure the circumference at 4.5 feet off the ground, and submit circumference, tree species, tree location, your name, email and phone #, and, if possible, a photo of the tree to Submit by Nov. 1.