Rural Neosho boasts largest measured slippery elm
December 17, 2014
Dean Ogden stands next to a slippery elm tree in front of his home near Neosho. The tree earned state champion status when measurements by Jon Skinner, a Missouri Dept. of Conservation forester, showed it to be the largest of its type ever recorded in Missouri. Through a point system MDC's State Champion Tree Program recognizes trees that are native to the state. Points are determined by a tree's height, crown spread and trunk size. The formula adds the circumference in inches (measured at 4.5 feet above the ground), height (in feet), and one-fourth of the average crown spread. Recognizing state champion trees is a valuable part of forestry management. Ogdenís elm measured 82 feet high and had a circumference of 14 feet, 7 inches. Skinner noted that the tree appears to be in good health.

Slippery elm ("Ulmus rubra"), also known as red elm, is found across Missouri. Itís a water-loving tree that reaches its largest size on moist, rich soils on lower slopes and in bottomlands. Skinner said the treeís large dimensions were likely the result of Ogdenís yard being located in a stream valley.

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