In Search of Geauga County’s Biggest Tuliptree!

The Geauga Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) is excited to announce the 2022 Geauga County BIG TREE Contest and is currently seeking nominations!

This voluntary contest promotes the beauty and benefits provided by our county’s biggest and oldest trees, along with their contributions to clean water and healthy soil. The 2022 featured tree species is the Tuliptree (Liriodendron tulipifera).  Also known as tulip poplar and yellow poplar, the tuliptree (yes, it’s one word!) is actually a member of the magnolia family and named for its distinct, showy tulip-shaped flowers and leaves. This towering native tree grows rapidly reaching heights well over 100 feet! Known for its long, straight trunk that lacks lower branches, the tuliptree’s shape is beautifully symmetrical. It’s smooth gray, white-lined bark develops fissures and ridges as it matures and the lightweight, olivegreen hardwood is often used as a base for veneer. Tuliptrees prefer moist, well-drained soil and serve as a valuable food source to wildlife year round. Spring flowers provide nectar to ruby-throated hummingbirds and pollinators, they are the host plant of the eastern tiger swallowtail butterfly and a few dozen species of moths, and their seeds persist throughout the winter and help sustain birds,
squirrels, and other mammals.

Participants will submit a nomination for a Tuliptree which they believe might be the largest in the county. After all nominations are submitted, qualified personnel will verify the measurements using the ODNR Division of Forestry’s Champion Tree Program procedures. Each tree will receive a score based on trunk circumference, crown spread, and total height to determine the winner. In addition, the District will consider each tree’s ability to capture stormwater along with other economic benefits. For example, one Tuliptree with a diameter of 45 inches can absorb as much as 6,213 gallons of stormwater runoff each year.

The objectives of this contest are:

  • To engage residents in the management and enhancement of our county’s tree populations
  • To showcase the critical roles that trees play in sustaining healthy soil and clean water
  • To recognize that each healthy tree in our county reduces flooding and improves water quality

BIG TREE Contest Guidelines:

  • Nominated trees must be Tuliptrees located in Geauga County.
    (Visit to review characteristics.)
  • Only one nomination per individual tree. The first nomination received will be the official entry.
  • The tree does not have to be on the property of the nominator; however, permission from the landowner must be obtained prior to nomination.
  • Nominations must be submitted to Geauga SWCD no later than Monday, September 6th.
    Please email to or submit in person or through the mail to the Geauga SWCD, PO Box 410, 14269 Claridon-Troy Road, Burton, OH 44021.
  • Qualified District personnel will verify all nominated tree measurements and use the national tree benefit calculator ( to provide the stormwater runoff reduction capability. The decision of the District will be final.
  • Geauga County’s Biggest Tree will be recognized and awarded at the District’s Annual Meeting
    in the fall. If on public land, the biggest tree on private land will also be recognized.

Questions? Contact, 440-834-1122, or


Geauga News
Author: Geauga News