The Largest Tree in Illinois
The Bald Hill Prairie Preserve contains primarily open habitat consisting of original prairie and pasture grasses. A portion of the large south hill has an oak savanna with beautiful large bur oaks. This savanna has closed in over time with other woody species so the District’s restoration staff will be restoring this area to its savanna character. Several of the steeper hills that support the best native prairie on site also have brush on them; the removal of this invasive brush is the first goal of the restoration staff. The terrain is rolling to say the least, it is difficult to find a level area anywhere on the 380 acres. It is an estimated 180 feet of elevation difference between the top of Bald Hill and the bottom of the lowest draw. In addition to the native prairie grasses and wildflowers on site and the large Bur Oaks, we have also discovered some very large Eastern Cottonwood trees in the bottom areas. In fact, one of these Cottonwoods seemed to be so large, it was thought to be among the largest trees in the state. After taking some measurements and sending off a nomination form to the Illinois Big Tree Register through the University of Illinois Extension, it was confirmed that this site has the State Champion Eastern Cottonwood and is among the largest trees in the entire state!
5502 N. Silver Creek Road Mt. Morris Illinois 61054