State Champion Jack Pine Cut Down

Until today I wasn’t aware there was such a thing as a State Champion Tree for all of the native tree species in Minnesota.  The former State Champion Jack Pine was a tree located in Lake Bronson State Park but it died over the winter and a new one was found, crowned and cut down in Mt. Iron, Minnesota.

According to the Duluth News Tribune the tree was cut down due to mining expansion.  The full article can be found online but here’s the highlights of it.

The Mountain Iron jack pine measured 87 inches in circumference at 4½ feet above ground. It was 57 feet tall with a crown spread of32 feet.

“The state was looking for the largest jack pine because the previous one died, which was also a national champion,’’ said Jennifer Teegarden, forest outreach specialist for the DNR and coordinator of the state’s Big Tree Program. “I was able to declare the jack pine in Mountain Iron as the state champion.”

Teegarden said she was unaware the tree was about to be cut down when Irish told her about it on March 24. She asked a state forester to measure the tree before April 1, when the property was being transferred from Irish to U.S. Steel Corp. The company is buying up properties on the north side of the Parkville neighborhood to make way for an expansion of the open-pit taconite iron mine at its massive Minntac operation.

Find out more about the State Program for trees.

Leave a Reply