MARTINSBURG, W.Va. –Based on a discovery by the West Virginia Division of Forestry, Berkeley County currently houses the state’s largest Kentucky Coffee tree, according to forester Herb Petticord.
The Kentucky Coffee tree that has been identified in Berkeley County stands at 81 feet tall. It is 178 inches in circumference and has a crown spread of 17 feet, making its total point value 276, based on a combination of all three numbers, Petticord said.
Using the point system, ranks are based on trees with the highest point value.
“It is a nationwide data standard and every tree is measured the same,” said Petticord.
Although these trees are native to West Virginia, they are not native to the Eastern Panhandle, he said.
The Kentucky Coffee tree gets its original name because the large brown bean pods the tree produces is an alternative source for creating coffee.
In addition, the keys to identifying the Kentucky Coffee species is mostly based on two factors, according to Petticord. Other than the large brown bean pods, the tree also has a double compound leaf, he said.
Cambellton Farm, located on Tabler Station Road is home to the tree. While the farm is now owned by Michael and Kristi Frye, the property was first built in 1796 by Revolutionary War Capt. James Campbell, according to Katy Frye, Michael’s mother.
However, although Michael and Kristi Frye are the current owners of the property, the reported discovery was in part because of the efforts of Mary Ann Rogers, Michael’s aunt. Rogers said she was in the process of reporting two Yellow-Poplar trees to last year’s Big Tree Contest and during the inspection, Petticord noticed the size of the tree.
The annual tree contest is part of West Virginia’s Big Tree program, an ongoing effort by the West Virginia Commerce to find, measure and record the biggest trees in the state. As of this year, there are a total of 91 species of various trees within the state that are now listed in the online database…