Big Trees

Meet Geary Schwemmer, Carroll County’s new Big Trees Coordinator. 

This webpage is devoted to the Big and Beautiful trees of Carroll County.  For more information about the Maryland Big Tree Program, or to nominate a Carroll County for the Big Tree registry, visit the Maryland Big Tree Website at   (Hover cursor over images to read captions.)

(For more about Geary, scroll down to the bottom of this page.)

Take a self-guided tour of the Big Trees of Carroll County! Download pdf at the bottom of page.

The big trees in Carroll CountyCarroll County has 61 trees listed with the Maryland Big Tree program, and more are being added all the time.  Carroll has 41 County Champions, five of which are State Champions, and one a National Champion. Who knows, maybe there is one on your property?

The Top Ten largest trees in Carroll County:

Common Name

Genus, species



Circumference (inches)

Height (feet)

Crown width (feet)

Silver Maple

Acer, saccharinum






American Sycamore

Platanus, occidentalis






Black Mulberry (National Champion)

Morus, nigra






American Sycamore

Platanus, occidentalis






Silver Maple

Acer, saccharinum






Black Oak

Quercus, velutina

Mt. Airy





White Oak Quercus, alba Sykesville 352 220 98 135

American Sycamore







Eastern Cottonwood

Populus, deltoides



209 112 100
Yellow-Poplar Liriodendron,
Finksburg 342 168 149 98

Carroll County’s Biggest (highest point score) – This silver Maple in Westminster, with 382 points:Image of the silver maple

Carroll County’s Tallest at 149 feet, a yellow-poplar in Finksburg:

Yellow Poplar in Finksburg

Carroll County’s fattest (circumference-wise), at 293 inches, the National Champion black mulberry in Westminster: 

Black Mulberry
This tree is likely at least as old as the house behind it, built in 1795.

Carroll County’s tree with the largest crown spread, the white oak in Sykesville, has an average crown diameter of 135 feet.


White Oak
This white oak survived a fire a few decades ago that burned down a house which was located where the current house in this photo now stands.  Though several large limbs charred by the fire were removed, the wounds callused over and this grand white oak continues to thrive in good health today.

Currently, there are 5 publicly accessible trees listed in the MD Big Tree registry. If you love the outdoors, you might find it enjoyable to find and visit all of them. Their exact locations, including GPS coordinates are provided on the registry at Below is a screen shot of the list, filtered for Carroll County trees and sorted by Street Address:

One can bring up the details on any tree listing by clicking on the expansion arrows in the first column with the BT-ID #.

Image of the website
Screenshot of MD big trees

Here are some notable new additions to the Carroll County Big Trees:

Happy owner of a big American sycamore in Westminster:

White Sycamore tree

This baldcypress tree, located in Hampstead, is one of the country’s northernmost single specimens.

Bald Cypress 7
This baldcypress tree, located in Hampstead, is one of the country’s northernmost single specimens. Baldcypress is a sub-tropical tree species found mostly in the Carolinas and southeastern U.S. The northernmost natural stand of baldcypress in the U.S. is located on Battle Creek Cypress Swamp Sanctuary in Calvert County, Maryland.

The largest known saucer magnolia in Maryland, recently “discovered” in Leister Park, Hampstead:

Saucer Magnolia, Leister Park, Hampstead

The happy owners of Carroll County’s largest known Eastern white pine also own the Carroll County champion white mulberry and Norway spruce.  The trees are located in Hampstead:

Eastern White Pine

The happy owner(s) of the Carroll County Champion pin oak, in New Windsor:

Pin Oak in winter

About Geary Schwemmer:

After recently retiring, I took up volunteering with the local chapter of the American Chestnut Foundation, planting and maintaining American chestnut hybrids in their orchards. Through one of their newsletters, I followed a website link to the Maryland Big Tree program. 

I’ve always liked trees and travel, so I decided to seek out some of the nearby publicly accessible trees listed on the MD Big Tree Registry and I was immediately hooked. I started planning some of my leisure-time motorcycle rides and short hikes around big tree locations.  

Finding small errors in some registry data (like GPS coordinates and missing or deceased trees), I communicated these back to the MBT Committee Chair, John Bennett and Vice-chair, Joli McCathran.  When John and Jolie mentioned that help was needed in Carroll County, I stepped up and took the bait, hook, line and sinker. Shortly thereafter I was measuring trees under the tutelage of Joli.  I joined the Carroll County Forestry Board to get more involved with other aspects of this most valuable resource we call trees.    

It’s hard to pick just one favorite tree, but two of my current ones are both yellow poplars, the first one stands sentinel over the old gravesites next to the historic Friends Meeting House in Sandy Springs. The second one watches over the children’s playground, picnic, and swimming area at Oregon Ridge Park.