Mary Jo and I were in Wheaton IL. a while back to see our daughter Mary Beth, who just graduated from Wheaton college. We stayed at a Hyatt Hotel in Oakbrook on the campus of McDonald’s corporate headquarters. (Also home of Hamburger University, where new McDonald’s managers and owners get trained. No joke). We had just checked out and I happened to notice this tree. I didn’t think much about it, until I saw this sign in front of it. (See picture)
It is 150 years old, 73’ high, has a 176′” trunk circumference (That’s a 56” diameter)! Normal Buckeyes are 30-50’ tall.
The hotel was required to be built a safe distance away to protect the tree’s root system. The tree is fertilized and watered regularly, and cared for by arborists.
Championship status is given only to native and naturalized trees in the United States. Winners are determined by a point system based on the trunk’s circumference and the height and the crown spread of the tree.