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.
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.