Champion Silver Maple at Van Zeeland Nursery

Everybody likes a huge, old tree. The largest specimen of a particular tree species is called a “champion”. There is a national registry, a state registry and even some local communities who keep registries of champion trees. The Wisconsin Champion Tree Program identifies and recognizes the large trees and is a great way to encourage appreciation of your community’s urban forest. The official registry of Wisconsin’s largest trees is maintained by the DNR. Information on the location, dimensions, and rank of these champions, representing over 270 true species and cultures, totals over 2200 records. The registry is available on the DNR website at The registry is very interesting, but is has one problem—it hasn’t been revised since 4/25/01.

Since that date: Van Zeeland Nursery & Landscape, 1715 E. Main St., Little Chute has been formally recognized as having the 11th largest Silver Maple (Acer Saccharinum) in the state.*

*When our Champion Silver Maple was measured, it had a circumference of 218”, a height of 85’ and a spread of 90’. It is surely larger today. This tree is estimated to have been a seedling in 1794, marking it at approximately 214 years old in 2007. To put this in perspective, immigrants first began arriving in the lower Fox River region near La Petite Chute (French for Little Falls, and the original name for the area of the rapids on the Fox River where Little Chute is today) in the 1830’s.

Stop in today to see our nursery “Champion”!

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