Ridgefield tree believed to be one of the largest Norway maples in the US
There is a tree in Ridgefield that experts say may be the largest Norway maple in the United States.
You can find it nestled behind the Ridgefield Guild of Arts on Halpin Lane.
"Just a really beautiful tree. Something for the town of Ridgefield to be proud of," said Frank Kaputa with Connecticut's Notable Trees, an organization that documents significant trees.
Kaputa says this is not only the largest Norway maple in the state, but with the possible exception of a tree in New Jersey, it could be the largest of its kind in the country.
"It was brought to our attention in 1995," said Kaputa.
Kaputa says he measured the 77-foot-tall tree late in 2021.
Experts measure the height, trunk circumference and how far the branches spread out. Add those numbers together, and you get points.
"Whichever tree has the most points is the champion," said Kaputa.
Kaputa believes the tree is well over 100 years old.
"A lot of pictures of people sitting in that tree going back 80-90 years ago," says First Selectman Rudy Marconi.
Marconi says it's important for the town to protect this national treasure.
"What we need to do is to put more top soil around this area and plant more grass and restrict the vehicles from traveling near it," says Marconi.
"I think it just needs a little care, and it's in great health - and it could live another hundred years, maybe more," said Kaputa.
The town of Ridgefield is proud to have the tree rooted in its history.
Previously, a tree in Suffield was state champion and a tree in Montana was national champion.