The 2017 Big Tree Contest

Applications due Feb. 10

It’s the time of the year to start the 14th annual Big Tree contest. This contest is a youth education program run by the Stevens County Conservation District (SCCD) in coordination with the Washington State University Stevens County Extension Office, which focuses on raising trees.

In March, participants purchase seedlings from SCCD, feed, water and care for them until late August when the trees are entered in the Northeast Washington Fair.

Each year members from FFA Clubs, 4-H and local schools enter trees for individual prizes and ribbons. Each group then enters their tree with the highest score in the Biggest and Best Auction. Industry leaders, business owners and the general public then bid on the clubs’ trees.

Last year Vaagen Bros. Lumber bought the Grand Champion tree from the Classical Conversations homeschool group for $900.

Other local bidders such as Boise Cascade, Columbia Cedar, Hancock Forest Management, Cathy McMorris Rogers and Northeast Washington Forestry Coalition participated in last year’s auction as well, funding local clubs to go to state events or helping to improve their equipment.

Individuals ages five - 18 can also participate for their chance at individual prizes and fair ribbons, but are not eligible for the auction.

“It’s a great opportunity for students to get hands-on experience and learn from the ground up,” said Dana Bowers of the SCCD.

Visit Stevens County Conservation District at 232 Williams Lake Road to pick up a registration form. Applications need to be turned in by Feb. 10. Call Bowers at (509) 685-0937 extension 101 with any questions.