Tree Information

Common Name: southern magnolia

Scientific Name: Magnolia grandiflora

Native/Naturalized: Native to Virginia

Database ID: 732

Status: alive

National Champion: yes

Virginia Champion: yes

Circumference: 266 in.

Height: 61 ft.

Crown: 61 ft.

Points: 342

Date Last Measured: 2016

Last Measured by: Eric Wiseman, Alex Cassell, Byron Carmean, and Chris Bradshaw

Date First Measured: 2006

Comments: The tree resides on the property of a renovated historic home that was built in the late 1880s by the Sheriff of Sussex County at that time.

It was crowned the national champion in 2010, but was later disqualified due to abnormalities in the trunk and the subsequent difficulties in taking an appropriate trunk circumference measurement. The trunk of the tree is highly irregular, with several upright stems and low branches. There is much room for debate over the most appropriate location to measure the trunk and what to include. When the tree was measured in 2006, the trunk was measured by wrapping the tape around the entirety of the clump of stems near ground line, resulting in a measurement of 277 inches.

When measured in 2016, the decision was made to measure around several fused upright stems while excluding a few low branches and unfused stems. This resulted in a smaller circumference than previously measureed. All stems and branches were considered when measuring the crown spread. In 2020, the tree was once again recognized as national co-champion, sharing the title with a tree in Mississippi.

A. Cassell July 2016

Location of Tree

Tree is located in: Sussex

State Map

Land Owner: Unknown

GPS Coordinates: 36.723057, -77.438979

Directions: Tree is located prominently in the front yard of the house at 11102 Fortsville Road Emporia, VA 23847, just to the right of the driveway.

Contact Information

Contact Name: Eric Wiseman

Contact Email:

Contact Phone: 540-231-5148

Contact Info: Former owner moved from the property in 2020. New owner is unknown.


Original Nominator(s): Chris Bradshaw

Additional Information

I.D. Fact Sheet

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