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BIG TREE PROGRAM

American Forests


The threats to forests are varied and complex. To answer this challenge, American Forests uses a variety of programs to address many facets of forest protection and restoration. We plant trees, educate the public on the importance of forests, unite local experts to assist their communities, advocate for forests in public policy issues and much more.

The call to search for America’s biggest trees first came in the September 1940 issue of American Forests magazine, where concerned forester Joseph Sterns published his article “Let’s Find and Save the Biggest Trees.” Sterns wasn’t referring to the famous and historic trees that were already protected, but the giants left standing in virgin forests.

Since that call to locate and measure the largest trees of each species, American Forests has maintained the National Register of Big Trees, a list of the biggest trees in America. The Big Tree Program is active in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, and is used as a model for several Big Tree programs around the world. With sponsorship from The Davey Tree Expert Company since 1989, the National Big Tree Program has been able to reach a wider audience and promote the same message for over 70 years: regardless of size, all trees are champions of the environment.

Key milestones for the National Big Tree Program:
1940 – The first tree is nominated: a Chestnut Oak in Suffield, Connecticut.
1941 – The American Big Trees Report is launched with a total of 77 champions.
1961 – The program name is changed to the Social Register of Big Trees.
1969 – The first Hawaiian edition of the register is published.
1978 – The publication changes its name to the National Register of Big Trees.
2010 – The National Register of Big Trees launches the first online publication of register.

Archived Registers
View previous national champions to see how they compare to the champs of 2014.
2008 National Register of Big Trees
2010 National Register of Big Trees
2011 National Register of Big Trees
Spring 2012 National Register of Big Trees
Fall 2012 National Register of Big Trees
Spring 2013 National Register of Big Trees
Fall 2013 National Register of Big Trees 

Posted January 9, 2015


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