The Kennebec Historical Society’s March Facebook Live presentation “Maine’s Big Trees” is planned for 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 17. Jan Santerre will be the speaker.

Since 1968, the Maine Forest Service has compiled a list of the largest known specimens of native and naturalized trees in Maine. The 2020 Register contains 146 trees, representing 138 species. Of these, the Maine Forest Service has several existing, and a few more nominations to the Nation Register of Champion Trees. The Eastern white pine located in Morrill was a National Champion and lost its status when a portion of the crown was removed following a 2018 windstorm. The new state champion Eastern white pine in Sumner has been nominated to take its place. The National Champion black spruce in Brooklin, yellow birch in Wayne, and common buckthorn in Portland are defending their national ranks. New potential champions include a mountain paper birch in Bethel, eastern hophornbeam in Paris and a striped maple in Bristol.

State champion big trees capture people’s imagination for their size and strength; however, there is more to a champion than just its size — they are symbols of all the good work trees do for the quality of the environment and our quality of life. Big trees provide more cooling shade and more places for wildlife to perch and nest. They sequester more carbon dioxide, trap more pollutants, and purify more water. In this talk we will highlight how to measure champion trees, along with stories of our favorite champions.

Santerre is the Project Canopy director for the Maine Forest Service where she focuses on all aspects of program management. Project Canopy is a federally funded program in support of urban forestry programming in Maine’s municipalities. She works with cities and towns statewide, providing grant funds to support street and shade tree planting and assistance and training in various topics related to shade tree management and forestry in general to municipal staff, commissions and volunteers. She has managed the Maine Register of Big Trees for MFS for more than 20 years, has a bachelor of science degree in forestry from the University of Vermont and is a native of Dover-Foxcroft.

To view this presentation, visit the KHS Facebook page and the video will air live. It also will be available to watch later. Those who have a question can submit it in the comments during the live video presentation.

For questions about the program, call Scott Wood, executive director, at 207-622-7718.