CARBONDALE, IL (KFVS) - The winners of the Keep Carbondale Beautiful Champion Tree Contest were announced at Carbondale Main Street's Fourth Friday Fair.
University of Illinois Extension Forestry's Chris Evans trained volunteers how to measure and score the trees, and the final score was a combination of a tree's circumference, height, and crown spread.
The training session resulted in a red bud being nominated to the State of Illinois Big Tree Register, and within a few weeks, word came that it was named a State Champion. That makes two state champions in Carbondale, the other being a swamp white oak, recognized in 2015.
Keep Carbondale Beautiful is a non-profit organization based in Carbondale, IL that focuses on litter control, community beautification, waste reduction, and environmental education programs.
The Champion Tree Contest is meant to raise awareness about the important role native trees play in the local ecosystem. But besides being good for the environment, planting trees can also be good for your wallet, according to KCB executive director Sarah Heyer.
"Joan Steele called as soon as she heard about this contest because the white oak in her back yard was the reason she bought her house. Let this be a lesson: Trees sell houses. Studies show they can add 7 to 15 percent to the property value," Heyer said.
KCB sells native trees and shrubs each fall and spring. Visit their website, Keepcb.org, for more information.