The tree, located on the property of Dana Cox at 100 Meadow Rd., Laurens, was measured and submitted by members of the volunteer group Clinton Canopy with the help of retired urban forester Jimmy Walters and Presbyterian College biology professor Mike Rischbieter, who said, “That’s the biggest white oak I have ever seen”.
According to the Clemson website, “A Champion (Big) Tree is the largest of its species according to a standard measuring formula based on trunk circumference, tree height, and average crown spread. To be eligible, a tree must be native to or naturalized in the continental United States, including Alaska (Not Hawaii).”
The Laurens tree has a circumference of 238.76 inches (nearly 20 feet!), a height of 88 feet, and an average canopy spread of 104 feet. The tree’s score, based on the standard formula, is 352.76. A national register maintained by AmericanForests.org sites the largest Eastern white oak in the country known at this time to have a score of 451 points and is located in Virginia.
While not the highest scoring tree in the state, any tree with a score within 5% of the highest score will be designated a co-champion and be included in the Champion tree list. The Laurens tree is fourth on the list. The other trees listed are in Pickens, Anderson and Saluda Counties.