More Than 40 New National Champion Big Trees Crowned

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American Forests Releases the Fall 2013 National Register of Big Trees

Across the United States, the largest trees of their species joined the ranks of the more than 780 national champion trees listed in American Forests’ National Register of Big Trees. More than 20 former champions were dethroned and a five-way tie between the co-champion green hawthorns was superseded by a new winning tree in North Carolina. All told, more than 40 new champions were crowned in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Highlights include:

  •     New York is the proud home of 11 new champion trees for a state total of 16 national champion and co-champion trees. New champions, all found by big tree hunters Richard Cook and Douglas Bassett, include the shining willow, witch-hazel, two co-champion common prickly-ash and a dwarf chinkapin oak.
  •     Oregon adds five new champions, including a black locust and a massive California-laurel. With 724 points, the California-laurel joins the exclusive mega-tree category, composed of trees that score more than 650 points. Only 15 trees currently qualify as mega-trees.
  •     After losing its sole champion in the spring 2012 register, the District of Columbia regains a spot in the National Register with a new national champion chestnut oak, located in Battery Kemble Park, a Union Army Civil War fort run by the National Park Service: Civil War Defenses of Washington.

“For more than 70 years, American Forests has educated the public about the key ecological roles trees play and the conditions a forest ecosystem needs in order to thrive. It is our goal to bring attention to the iconic stature of these trees so communities will garner support for their protection and care for all trees so they have full, healthy lives,” says Sheri Shannon, coordinator of the American Forests National Big Tree Program.

Sponsored by The Davey Tree Expert Company, the National Register of Big Trees accepts nominations for national champions year-round, and American Forests releases an updated version of the register twice a year. The National Register of Big Trees records the largest trees of each species in the United States based on height, circumference and average crown spread.

Since 1940, American Forests National Big Tree Program has promoted the importance of planting and caring for trees and forests in helping to sustain healthy ecosystems and life on Earth. The program has campaigned to locate, protect and save the biggest specimens of every native and naturalized tree species in the United States.

Learn more about the National Big Tree Program and its resources, including the new Tree Protection Toolkit, and view the fall 2013 National Register of Big Trees at


About American Forests
American Forests restores and protects urban and rural forests. Founded in 1875, the oldest national nonprofit conservation organization in the country has served as a catalyst for many of the most important milestones in the conservation movement, including the founding of the U.S. Forest Service, the national forest and national park systems and literally thousands of forest ecosystem restoration projects and public education efforts. In the last two decades, American Forests has planted more than 44 million trees in forests throughout the U.S. and in 44 countries, resulting in cleaner air and drinking water, restored habitat for wildlife and fish, and the removal of millions of tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Learn more at

About The Davey Tree Expert Company
The Davey Tree Expert Company, with U.S. and Canadian operations in more than 45 states and five provinces, provides a variety of tree care, grounds maintenance and consulting services for the residential, utility, commercial and government markets. Davey is the premiere sponsor of the National Register of Big Trees and has been committed to developing new technologies to support the environment for more than a century. For more information, visit

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Sheri Shannon
American Forests
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