CORAL SPRINGS, FL- Coral Springs is getting national attention, in the world of trees.

This month, city officials learned a little-known nature preserve just off Sample Road is home to a 2020 National Champion Tree, which is part of a registry by American Forests to identify the largest living specimens of American trees.

Deep in the Tall Cypress Nature Area lives the Trema micrantha -- the largest known tree of its species in the country as reported to American Forests, a national nonprofit conservation organization.

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“That’s pretty cool,” said Casey Lee, city forester for Coral Springs, who learned about recognition last week.

The tree -- whose common name is Jamaican Nettletree -- is listed in the registry as leaning but in good health and shape.

Coral Springs teachers Nicholas DeCesare and Margaret Pickholtz nominated the tree for the registry.

Pickholtz is a science teacher at the Atlantis Academy Coral Springs and DeCesare is a teacher at Margate Elementary, according to a city spokeswoman.

They could not be reached on Thursday.

If you want to find the tree in the preserve at 3700 Turtle Run Boulevard, good luck. It’s located in the thicket of other trees and brush, Lee said.

Lee said recognitions such as 2020 National Champion Tree are a way to bring attention to the need to preserve trees at a time when forests are being degraded and destroyed at a rapid pace.

“A tree like this can’t survive in a residential area, so we have to preserve areas allowing them to grow,” she said.


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