Sometimes, when you get off your beaten path, whether by accident or design, you make delightful discoveries. This was the case on my Memorial Day jaunt yesterday. Coming into Screven from a different direction than my usual, I immediately noticed a sign which read “National Champion Turkey Oak”. When I turned the corner to the yard of the Screven United Methodist Church, I was met by this beauty. The American Forestry Association’s National Registry of Big Trees named this tree National Champion in 1991, listing its dimensions as: 106″ circumference, 80′ high, with a crown dimension of 55′. Obviously, some of the crown has been lost in the interim, and another Turkey Oak, in Florida, is apparently considered the current champion. Turkey Oaks are a staple of sandill and scrublands in the Deep South and most field guides suggest that they are rarely taller than 30′-50′, so this tree may still be the tallest extant of the species.