Forest Service, Rangeland Manager, and local botany expert John Shelly, kept telling me that we had to go out to Fish Creek to look at what he suspected was a Champion aspen tree. I have to admit, I didn’t initially jump at the suggestion. We have sagebrush that look like they’ve been hitting the steroids, but the aspen don’t generally pop to mind as monstrous.

On an aspen related field trip a couple of summers ago, John and I made a side visit to check out the big trees. When he pointed them out from a distance, I was still quite doubtful that any of those trees were champions. That was until we got up close, where the trees suddenly seemed enormous. Three trees stand together, with one that is clearly the largest.

We got out the measuring tape, submitted the records a couple of days later and anxiously awaited some news. It turned out it to be a champion for Idaho!

It wasn’t the tallest tree on record, but it had the largest diameter. We’re hoping no ambitious beavers decide to take it down as supplies for a second home project. Thanks to John for helping us to figure it out. I promise to listen to any further suggestions he has on trees.

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