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Award given to largest sugar maple

By Staff | Oct 14, 2011

Diana Suttenfield received a certificate from the Eastern Panhandle Conservation District for having the largest tree. The tree is located right outside of Shepherdstown. (submitted)

Tuesday, Oct. 4 the Eastern Pandhandle Conservation District and Delegate John Overington (R-Berkeley) awarded a “Certificate of Recognition” for winning the 2011 Largest Tree Contest to Diana Suttenfield for having the largest sugar maple tree, which is the state tree in West Virginia.

The tree is located on the historic Falling Spring property, near Morgan’s Grove Park. It is estimated that the tree is between 250 and 300 years old.

The tree was an eyewitness to several historical events including the Falling Spring/Morgan’s Spring 1775 rendezvous of Hugh Stephenson’s Virginia Riflemen before they left on the “Beeline March” to join Gen. Washington.

Because Falling Spring was near the main road, current day Route 480 South, there were many troops from both the North and South marching nearby, several Civil War battles and encampments, close to and around the large house. There is an account of the young William Morgan, talking with Gen. George Armstrong Custer, as one of the soldiers encamped just outside the main house.

And during the Aug. 25, 1864 Battle of Kearneysville, which was fought on the lands of present day Morgan’s Grove Park, one cannon ball hit and became enbedded in the west side of the main house.

Several things contributed to the tree’s long survival; for almost 50 years, the recently deceased owners of Falling Spring used Mack Jenkins tree service to fertilize, trim and cut deceased limbs.