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Minnesota wolf researchers stumble upon largest tree of its kind in America

This monster jack pine was found in Voyageurs National Park.

It's the biggest tree of its kind in America and it was recently found in northern Minnesota. 

According to Quetico Superior Wilderness News, a 73-foot jack pine on the shore of Moose Bay, Namakan Lake, in Voyageurs National Park, was discovered in late-November by two park researchers who were tracking wolves. 

"That is a huge jack pine, that is going to crush the record,” Tom Gable recalled thinking in an interview with the wilderness publication. “For a jack pine it’s huge. It’s got this huge crown, sometimes they look really scraggly and weathered.”

Gable is a Ph.D. student in wildlife biology at the University of Minnesota. He and his colleague, wildlife technician Austin Homkes, found the record-setting tree together and it's since been added to the American Forests’ Champion Trees national register.

Only one other tree in Minnesota is a national champion: a 67-foot Tamarack in Brainerd, found by Jim and Ann Pierson in 2004. 

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Gable found two other state champion trees in Minnesota while monitoring the behavior of wolves, an 80-foot balsam fir and an 85-foot black spruce. Neither of those finds, however, are national champs like the jack pine. 

To become a state or national tree champion, measurements of the trunk, height and one-quarter of a tree's crown spread in feet are taken. Anyone can nominate a state or national champion tree on this page from the Minnesota DNR

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