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Kentucky coffeetree in Amarillo confirmed to be largest of its kind in Texas

A Kentucky coffeetree tree at Will Rogers Park in Amarillo has been confirmed to be the largest of its kind in Texas by the Texas A&M Forest Service. (KVII)

Texas A&M Forest Service has confirmed a tree at Will Rogers Park in Amarillo is the largest of its kind in the state.

This specific Kentucky coffeetree is on the latest edition of the Texas Big Tree Registry, which is a listing of the largest specimen of every native or naturalized tree species found in the state.

"This tree is just beautiful," Staff Forester Brian Scott said, who officially measured the tree in 2015. "Its girth really makes the difference when you compare it to other trees of the same species across the state."

The Kentucky coffeetree is officially known as "Gymnocladus dioicus" and was not an eligible species on the Texas Big Tree Registry until 2015.

The Texas A&M Forest Service said the species has been known to occur in Western Oklahoma for decades but there was no known population in Texas. However, the species was recently confirmed to be growing sustainably in Hemphill and Wheeler Counties, which allows it to be approved as a native or naturalized species in Texas.

The tree, Texas A&M Forest Service said, has a circumference of 92 inches, a height of 51 feet and a crown spread of 52 feet, giving it a tree index of 156 points. The tree index is what is used to compare trees. It combines circumference in inches with total height in feet, plus one-quarter of the average crown spread in feet.

The Big Tree Registry's purpose is to stimulate a greater public appreciation of trees and to recognize owners and nominators of the state's largest trees, according to the Texas A&M Forest Service. It is published quarterly on the Texas A&M Forest Service website.

Right now, the Texas A&M Forest Service recognizes 320 native or naturalized tree species that qualify for the list.

For more information on the Big Tree Registry click here.

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