Box needs first aid - see comments in Status page Champion Trees  LbNA # 35757

OwnerLindsays Snowman    
Placed DateOct 4 2007
LocationCincinnati, OH
Found By The Bug Fairies
Last Found Jun 1 2016
Hike Distance?
Last EditedSep 20 2015

On Sunday, Sept. 14, 2008 Hurricane Ike hit Cincinnati with 70 mph windstorms. The trees in Cincinnati were hard hit and power for some was out for over a week. Spring Grove Cemetery and Arboretum was hit very hard and today (Sept. 28, 2008), trees are still down, debris is everywhere and some roads are closed. I checked up on all of my boxes in Spring Grove. The clues for Two-Wing Silverbell have changed due to the fact that this Champion tree was severly damaged and I am concerned that the tree will be removed. As of today, it is sitting there sadly with all three limbs broken off! In addition two limbs have broken off of the American Yellowwood Champion Tree.

Champion Trees

The largest known tree of 826 native and naturalized species in the US has been documented through the conservation organization, American Forests since 1940. These trees are registered at the National Register of Big Trees:

A score is given for circumference, crown spread and total height and the tree of each species with the largest score is considered the largest tree.

The largest tree of a species in the country is considered the National Champion, while that of each state is considered the State Champion. There are 11 National Champions in the state of Ohio. The location of the National and State Champions can be found at:

In a time of global warming, big trees not only improve our environment through their ability to turn carbon dioxide into oxygen, but they also trap environmental pollutants and purify water.

Spring Grove Cemetery and Arboretum in Cincinnati, Ohio is home to two National Champions and several Ohio Champions. This letterboxing adventure will take you to the two National Champs and four of the Ohio Champions.

Directions to Spring Grove Cemetery and Arboretum:

Spring Grove Cemetery and Arboretum is located at 4521 Spring Grove Blvd. From I75, exit on W. Mitchell Blvd and drive west to Spring Grove Blvd. Turn left, continue past Winton Road to the entrance to the cemetery on the right.

Spring Grove Cemetery was founded in 1845 and is the second largest cemetery in the US. In 2007, it was dedicated as a National Historic Landmark by the US Park Service.

A map to the cemetery can be found at:

Or you can obtain a map at the Visitors Center after entering the main gates of the cemetery.

1. Cedar of Lebanon (Cedrus libani): Ohio Champion Tree

Circumference: 101 inches
Height: 51 feet
Crown 45 feet

After entering the cemetery and going under the overpass, you will see section 21. This Ohio Champion Tree is one of the first trees that you will see on the right and is indicated by a stone marker. After admiring this tree, cross the street and find General William Lytle. While looking at a scene of General Lytle at Chickamauga, look for a tall obelisk to the right. Walk 20 paces toward this obelisk. You will see two identical trees to the left that are surrounded by ivy. Look in the trunk of the second tree about 3 feet up. It is there that you will find the nut of the Cedar of Lebanon.

After stamping in, please make sure that the letterbox is covered with ivy and cannot be seen.

2. American Yellowwood (Cladrastis kentukea): National Champion Tree

Circumference: 213 inches
Height: 49 feet
Crown 63 feet

After finding the Cedar of Lebanon tree, turn left on the street that is immediately after the overpass that you went under after entering the cemetery; this is road is marked with a yellow centerline. This road is on the Cedar of Lebanon side of the overpass. Follow this road that parallels what use to be the railroad tracks. Find Brooks on the left across from the little chapel. Go behind Brooks to the left past the little grove of fir trees to what looks like a very large stump. This is what remains of the National Champ; there is no marker. To the left of the Champ is a smaller American Yellowwood; look in the trunk for a leaf of the American Yellowwood.

After stamping in, please cover with bark and leaves so that the letterbox cannot be seen.

3. Dawn Redwood (section 18 Metasequoia glyptostroboides): Ohio National Tree

Circumference: 173 inches
Height: 82 feet
Crown: 46 feet

Continue on the yellow centerline road the parallels what use to be the railroad tracks past the Willow Water Lake to section 18 on your right. Look for this Ohio Champ that is marked with a large rock that at one time had the Ohio Champ marker on it. On the left side of the tree is a nook about 3 feet off of the ground. The leaf of the Dawn Redwood resides here. After stamping in, please cover with bark and leaves so that the letterbox cannot be seen.

4. Two-wing Silverbell (Halesia diptera): National Champion Tree

Circumference: 57 inches
Height: 44 feet
Spread: 41 feet

Continue further on the yellow-lined road and when the road splits at Findlater on the left, take the unmarked road to section 73 past Eckert and Hanks to Mappes. Look behind Mappes to find the National Champion Two-wing Silverbell that is marked with a rock at its base saying that it is also the Ohio Champion Tree. If the tree is still there, the original hiding spot was in the trunk. The new spot can be found by looking past the holly tree on the left side of the Champion tree (or rock indicating this) to the Covalt monument. Go there. Facing the Covalt monument look right for the Boyce Obelisk with an urn on top. At that obelisk look to the left for the Wicker monument in the distance. Behind Wicker is a nice looking tree with a hiding spot for the Two-wing Silverbell letter box. Please cover with bark and leaves so that the letterbox cannot be seen.

5. Turkey Oak (Quercus cerris): Ohio National Tree

Circumference: 137 inches
Height: 85 feet
Crown: 74 feet

Continue on the unmarked road and turn right on the first road you come to. Then turn right, then left, then right. You then should be at a little circle road, go around to the left until you come to section 42. This Ohio National Tree is immediately next to the road and is marked with a large rock indicating that it is indeed the largest tree of its species in Ohio. Facing the marker, look to your left for Sedam and go and visit this site. Then look for an interesting marker with a “roof” and with the date 1854 marked at its base. Go to that site. Facing the side with lots of the names of the children including one named Thomas Jefferson look beyond to a tree laying on the ground covered with ivy. Look in the left end of this tree for the leaf of the Turkey Oak. After stamping in, please cover with bark and leaves so that the letterbox cannot be seen.

6. Hardy Rubber Tree (Eucommia ulmoides): Ohio National Tree

Circumference: 128 inches
Height: 56 feet
Crown: 72 feet

Continue around the circle and go back on the way you entered this site; turn right and go to section 53 on your right. This is the section with the Shelter House. This Ohio Champ is behind the Hickenlooper Obelisk and is indicated by a rock with the Ohio Champ marker. After admiring this large tree, go to the front of the Shelter House, which is to the left of the tree. To the left of the front steps you will see a downspout between two buttresses. The leaf of the Hardy Rubber Tree can be found on the right side of the left buttress. Please hide well after stamping in.