Ms Champion Southern Magnolia

Moderators: edfrank, dbhguru

Post Reply
User avatar
Larry Tucei
Posts: 2045
Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2010 10:44 am

Ms Champion Southern Magnolia

Post by Larry Tucei » Fri Oct 22, 2021 1:52 pm

Smokey Bear Photo.jpg
250-year-old fallen magnolia tree carved into Smokey Bear statue by Soso chainsaw artist
From left to right: Daniel Hite, carver; Anne Casey, De Soto District Ranger; Russell Walters,...
From left to right: Daniel Hite, carver; Anne Casey, De Soto District Ranger; Russell Walters, De Soto Equipment Operator; and Larry Tucei, member of the Native Tree Society.(Forest Service photo by Mario Rossilli)
By WDAM Staff
Published: Jul. 20, 2021 at 3:08 PM CDT
WIGGINS, Miss. (WDAM) - A southern magnolia tree that is estimated to have stood in the De Soto National Forest for more than 250 years has a new home and purpose after it was was felled by Hurricane Zeta in October.

The Champion Southern Magnolia Tree will remain in the De Soto National Forest in a different spot, but it also has a different look and message thanks to a Soso chainsaw artist.

After it fell, members of the U.S. Forest Service brought the tree to Daniel Hite of Big Creek Chainsaw Carving.

Over two weeks, Hite transformed the historic tree into a statue of Smokey Bear, which now sits in the office lobby of the De Soto Ranger District in Wiggins, reminding visitors of the importance of preventing wildfires.
“I’ve been a fan of Smokey for as long as I can remember,” Hite said in a news release. “What an honor to take this incredible tree and carve it into one of our country’s most beloved figures.”

The tree was recognized as the National Champion Southern Magnolia in September 2020 after being nominated for the American Forests Champion Trees National Register by Larry Tucei, a member of the Native Tree Society.

“It really was a magnificent tree. It had many visitors, many admirers. We were proud of having a tree with such a distinction on the forest. We wanted to commemorate its importance. Smokey Bear was a fitting new role for the Southern Magnolia,” said De Soto District Ranger Anne Casey.

At its last measurement, the tree stood at 111 feet with a circumference of 211 inches at its last measure, according to Tucei, who had been measuring the tree since the early 1990s.

“It’s a great way to share an important wildfire prevention message and let the public know about this magnificent tree,” Tucei said. “Hopefully, it will inspire others to learn more about trees.”

The project to repurpose the tree was headed by Russell Walters, a Forest Service equipment operator.

Dr Neil Peterson contacted me this week with the results of
aging process. The great Magnolia was 260 years old .
Larry
Last edited by Larry Tucei on Tue Oct 26, 2021 1:41 pm, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
Don
Posts: 1576
Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2010 12:42 am

Re: Ms Champion Southern Magnolia

Post by Don » Fri Oct 22, 2021 9:38 pm

Was there a photo attached Larry?

User avatar
Larry Tucei
Posts: 2045
Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2010 10:44 am

Re: Ms Champion Southern Magnolia

Post by Larry Tucei » Mon Oct 25, 2021 7:23 pm

Having trouble adding photo

User avatar
Larry Tucei
Posts: 2045
Joined: Tue Mar 09, 2010 10:44 am

Re: Ms Champion Southern Magnolia

Post by Larry Tucei » Tue Oct 26, 2021 1:43 pm

Don- Had to upload the photo from my Computer.
Could not resize it on my old Iphone.
Larry

Post Reply

Return to “Mississippi”