Green Ash, Fraxinus pennsylvanica, Anoka, Minnesota, 2009
Of the millions of Green Ash trees in Minnesota, this one was chosen as a "Champion Tree." Growing on the banks of the Rum River, it is perhaps in the very spot where Father Hennepin alledgedly camped in 1680. The criteria for adjudging a tree as champion is its having the largest circumference at 4 feet above the ground. This tree is big, but not as big as the numerous cottonwoods which also line the river. Ash trees tend to be short-lived, those that do survive often get brittle, crack and decay. Enjoy this one while you may: Ash trees are under threat from the Emerald Ash Borer and they may go the way of the elms if no way is found to stop this insect.