It probably didn’t make his day.
Actor Clint Eastwood used to own the nation’s largest known hardwood tree, according to American Forests, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit conservation organization that keeps track of such things.
But his champion tree was dethroned this year by a new champion that took its place on the official National Register of Big Trees.
A blue gum eucalyptus on Eastwood’s Carmel property was named the nation’s largest hardwood in 2000.
It was supplanted this year by another tree of the same species discovered about 200 miles to the north along California’s coast in Petrolia, south of Eureka.
The registry is revised every two years.
The new champion is nearly 49 feet around and 141 feet tall, with a 126-foot crown.
That gives it a point total of 759 on American Forest’s scale, dwarfing Eastwood’s 629-point tree.
“We can only hope that ‘the rookie’ tree that committed this ‘true crime’ for ‘absolute power’ does not go ‘unforgiven,’” American Forest magazine said, stretching to include some of Eastwood’s movie titles.
Eastwood, a former mayor of Carmel, was named last year to the California Parks and Recreation Commission.
His publicist, Marco Barla, said he knew nothing about the actor-director’s tree and that Eastwood could not be reached for comment.
The General Sherman giant sequoia in California’s Sequoia National Park remains the nation’s largest tree and the world’s largest living thing, according to American Forest, which has been keeping track of champion trees since 1940.
Among other new champions named this year is a 167-foot loblolly pine in Congaree Swamp National Monument near Columbia, S.C., the tallest big tree champion east of Idaho.
A champion Pacific madrone in Humboldt County--known as the Council Madrone for the many tribal councils held under its 121-foot crown--was among the trees lost to high winds over the last two years, the organization said.
And it said a champion blue ash in Danville, Ky., was cut down by a cleanup crew that was unaware of its importance and thought the untidy tree was a nuisance to the surrounding park.
The complete National Register of Big Trees, with a searchable database, is available for the first time this year on the organization’s Web site at www. americanforests.org.