[Oops! This post was to have automatically appeared on Sunday, September 24, but no such luck. Apologies for its late arrival, but do make time to read about the good work of Grand Trees of Chatham. Better late than never!]


“You know me, I think there ought to be a big old tree right there. And let’s give him a friend. Everybody needs a friend.”
― Bob Ross (host of The Joy of Painting)

Those of us who are old enough to remember Bob Ross on Public television will also recall how he loved to incorporate trees into his landscape paintings. It seemed like there was always room for one more tree on his canvas. Bob Ross was a true friend of trees, and wanted his viewers to share in that appreciation of these marvels of nature.

On the fourth Sunday of our Season of Creation observance at Pittsboro Presbyterian Church, it is time to hear from the trees’ best friend in our county, the Grand Trees of Chatham (GTOC) represented by long time Board member, Phil Cox. Phil is one of the knowledgeable naturalists who leads tree identification hikes that the GTOC hosts a couple of times a year at the Triangle Land Conservancy’s White Pines Nature Preserve in southern Chatham County.

Along with offering the public opportunities to explore nature and learn about trees and the value they add to everyone’s quality of life, GTOC is always encouraging Chatham’s citizens to “tell us about your favorite tree” (or trees). Whenever that occurs, the GOTC crew grabs the measuring tape and clinometer and has a grand old time assessing the tree for potential “champion” status. Awarded trees are recognized in a ceremony and owners will receive a Certificate of Award. (Note: Not all trees must be “champions” to achieve award status.)

All in all, over its fourteen year history the group has surveyed over 200 trees of which twenty four have earned county champion status and six state champion status. A tree nomination form along with more information about the work of GTOC can be found on its brand new website: https://grandtreesofchatham.org/.

While visiting the site, do take a moment to view the gallery page containing some of my nature/tree images from around Chatham County. Each year as a member of the GTOC Board I produce a Naturally Chatham photo calendar as the annual fund raiser for GTOC, its primary source of income: https://grandtreesofchatham.org/gallery/.

The 2024 calendar is now available for a $20 donation at these area outlets:

Chatham Marketplace COOP 480 Hillsboro St, Pittsboro

Liquidambar Gallery and Gifts 80 Hillsboro St, Pittsboro

New Horizons West 674 West St. Pittsboro

The Chatham Rabbit 223 B N Chatham Ave. Siler City

The trees can use all the friends they can get. We can help by supporting the vital work of Grand Trees of Chatham.