By NEIL ZAWICKI

Tree warden Kris Dulmer is launching a contest to find the biggest tree in Milton. 

Certainly, there is a biggest tree within the 51.4 square miles in the town, but not many may know the town has a tree warden, so we’ll start there.

Dulmer has a master’s degree in forest biology and worked as an arborist until 2015. 

He is inviting Miltonians to get out their measuring tapes and measure that particular tree they believe to be competitively large, and then send a photo of that measurement to Dulmer through text. If the total circumference meets his criteria, Dulmer will come out and assess the entire tree, stacking it against other entries to locate the most majestic one in all the town.

To determine the biggest tree, Dulmer measures the total circumference in inches, calculates the total height in feet, gauges the crown spread, or the mass of foliage reaching out from the trunk, which matches the root system under ground, and then he divides that number by four. 

Dulmer hopes, through the contest, to establish a registry of stately trees in Milton, and to do that he needs residents’ help. He wants to start with Ash trees and then move on to other species.

“I can’t really go around and measure hundreds of trees,” he said, “so if people could submit their entries, then I could narrow it down.”

Dulmer’s interest in trees and their majesty comes from his childhood, when his uncle showed him a cottonwood with a 10-foot diameter. 

“And that’s a straight trunk,” added Dulmer. “Cottonwoods are the fattest.”

Dulmer said there’s a Cottonwood out near the entrance to Eagle Mountain Recreation Area that could possibly win the title of biggest in Milton, but the contest could reveal a larger one.

“There are always these hidden gems out in the woods,” he said. “You never know what you’ll find.”

To enter the contest, text a photo close up of a tape measure wrapped around the trunk of the Ash tree showing the total circumference as well as the location, to 315-559-7360.