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PRESS RELEASE / ANNOUNCEMENTS Tuesday, October 9, 2012

National Champion Sycamore Tree

A large tree in Goleta was recently designated as the National ChampionCalifornia Sycamore Tree.


It is located close to the San Jose Creek in the area where theCity plans to construct a park in Old Town Goleta near the corner of Kellogg and HollisterAvenues. 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 inheight (94), the total points for this tree equates to 743, which makes it the largestCalifornia 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 thatreceived the National Champion designation earlier this year.

“Having not one, but two National Champions in our City is quite an honor. It’s a testamentto the importance of trees in our area and the community’s desire to preserve thesetreasures,” said Mayor Ed Easton. “Goleta is proud to be a Tree City.”Goleta Valley Beautiful (GVB) nominated the Sister Witness Tree for this designation afterrescuing the tree from overgrowth.

GVB is a non-profit organization that works in Goleta toinsure 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 BillSpiewak and Randy Baldwin. We then sent the measurements in to have the tree certifiedas a National Champion.”

The National Register of Big Trees is a list of the largest recorded living specimens of eachtree variety found in the continental United States. A tree on this list, maintained by thenon-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 thecontinental United States.The tree is not currently available for public viewing because the site is fenced off for futurepark improvements and is being used to house the San Jose Creek Project construction office

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