McCully Heritage Project
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The McCully Heritage Project is all about trees. Over 90% of our land is forest. We selectively harvest our timber to maintain a sustainable agricultural enterprise and trees are important to our educational mission as well. We are an active participant in the Illinois Big Tree Program, and the Illinois Notable Tree Program. (See below for our contender eastern white pine tree.)

As you walk the trails of the McCully Heritage Project you may notice little white signs next to some of these trees. These signs identify the trees, giving the common and scientific names of the trees. Nearly all of the native trees of Illinois are represented on the MHP property, and there are some non-native trees you may find as well.

Learn more about the trees of Illinois through our Tree-o-caching program. Tree-o-caching is a new twist on the growing hobby of geo-caching. Armed with a GPS unit and the proper coordinates, visitors can find specific types of trees, find the cache hidden near the tree and learn about the trees of Illinois up-close and personal. Each cache contains a logbook visitors can sign and a prize specific to the tree. For a list of tree-o-caches at the MHP and their coordinates click here, or check the main kiosk when you visit the MHP. (note we are currently expanding our list, so check back often!)

Ever wonder what a champion tree looks like?

This Eastern White Pine (Pinus strobes) tree outside the Kinscherff House at the MHP is a contender for Illinois’ biggest white pine. The tree ranks only 17 points behind the current Illinois Champion Eastern White Pine. This tree is 12 feet in circumference and 85 feet tall and its branches spread about 50 feet. The current Illinois Champion White Pine, located in Bureau County, Illinois and is 12.9 feet in circumference, 89 feet tall, and its branches spread 64 feet. The National Champion is located in Morrill, Maine and 19.1 feet in circumference, 132 feet tall with a spread of 72 feet.

Big White Pine

Details on Illinois champion trees can be found at the Illinois Big Tree Program website. Details on the national champions can be found at the National Register of Big Trees website.


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