Positively Upstate: The hunt for big trees

Positively Upstate: The hunt for big trees (WRGB)

ESPERANCE, NY (WRGB)--Crowning kings of the forest, the superstars of trees is what Fred Breglia does best.

And since the biggest oak in his arboretum broke in during Tropical Storm Irene, he's been looking for the next champion and hopes you at home can help find it.

"There's a lot of big oak trees at the arboretum but we figured there are probably even bigger ones out there," said Fred Breglia, Executive Director of the George Landis Arboretum.

And so the "Great Oak Hunt" was born.

A search throughout the Capital Region for record-breaking red or white oak trees.

If you have or know of an oak tree like that , send in measurements and you may win a prize.

Breglia's son, Freddy Jr., is helping his dad find a winner.

"I like going with people to find the biggest trees," he said.

"It's a life long love. You start early and hopefully carry that for your entire life. When it comes to measuring a tree, especially one this big, you don't pull out a tape measure. As you're about to see it's a very involved process," said Breglia.

The first step, measuring trunk circumference.

The canopy spread, which is how far the leaves spread out.

Once that's done, the height is measured.

From a distance, a laser range finder can measure the tree top to bottom.

After submitting measurements, the arboretum tallies them up and gives the tree a final score.

At Royal Oak Farm in Blenheim, Robert and Margaret Wilson's won biggest tree in Schoharie County in 1999.

The "Great Oak Hunt" goes until the Fall.

For more on the contest, click here.

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