How big is the biggest tree in the Mad River Valley? To help answer this question, the Madsonian Museum and the Mad River Path Association want people to search for The Valley’s biggest trees. Whoever finds and submits a picture of what ends up being the biggest tree will win a custom-made bench from carpenter Charlie Hosford, Waitsfield.
When the Madsonian started up, a Waitsfield resident reported that the tree stump in front of the Bridge Street entrance was the remains of the Waitsfield elm, famous for being the biggest in Vermont. It was thought that one of the huge limbs could take out the covered bridge during a storm, so the tree was cut down. The stump is between 6 and 7 feet in diameter, with a circumference of 226 and 264 inches.
Pictures of the trees submitted will also comprise a gallery of Big Trees at the Madsonian after the challenge ends on December 31, 2020.
The rules are simple. First, be sure landowners are OK with people on their land and stay off closed trails (see www.mrvrd.org/ or www.trailfinder.info to check a trail status). Then, measure the tree’s circumference at 4.5 feet above the ground (measure under any protrusions like a branch or burl). Take a picture of the measurement, ID the tree species, take the coordinates of the tree (use Google Maps or other map app on a phone) and submit it one of two ways: email the picture and info to