Lost Monarch, the national co-champion coast redwood, in Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park

Lost Monarch, the national co-champion coast redwood, in Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park. Credit: Kristina Herz

This spring, American Forests unveiled the 2012 National Register of Big Trees, which recognizes more than 760 champion trees in 45 states and D.C. As with every new National Register, goodbyes were said (around 70 trees were dethroned), and newcomers were greeted with open arms (more than 90 new champions joined the list).

However, this new register also has some twists. It welcomes Hawaii back to the fold with 16 new eligible native Hawaiian species. It reveals that the National Big Tree Program will be forming new working groups to help scientifically vet the register’s eligible species and measuring guidelines. And, it will be updated again later this year. Moving forward, the National Register will always be updated online twice a year — in the spring and fall — ensuring a more accurate list of champions year-round. Plus, there are new nomination requirements.

One thing that hasn’t changed is the National Register’s celebration of the biggest trees in the country — as well as the people that find and care for them. In honor of the spring edition of this year’s National Register, here are some of the biggest of the big: the top 10 biggest by points, the top 10 tallest and the 10 states that claim the most national champions.

The Top 10 Biggest Trees
*Denotes co-champion

  1. Giant sequoia, Sequoiadendron giganteum, 1321 points, Sequoia National Park, California
  2. Coast redwood*, Sequoia sempervirens, 1290 points, Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, California
  3. Coast redwood*, Sequoia sempervirens, 1223 points, Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, California
  4. Coast redwood*, Sequoia sempervirens, 1216 points, Redwood National Park, California
  5. Coast redwood*, Sequoia sempervirens, 1191 points, Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, California
  6. Western redcedar, Thuja plicata, 931 points, Olympic National Park, Washington
  7. Sitka spruce, Picea sitchensis, 883 points, Olympic National Park, Washington
  8. Coast Douglas-fir, Pseudotsuga menziesii, 804 points, Olympic National Forest, Washington
  9. Port-orford-cedar, Chamaecyparis lawsoniana, 773 points, Coos, Oregon
  10. Common baldcypress*, Taxodium distichum, 762 points, Cat Island, Louisiana
The national champion western redcedar in Olympic National Park

The national champion western redcedar in Olympic National Park. Credit: American Forests

The Top 10 Tallest Trees
*Denotes co-champion

  1. Coast redwood*, Sequoia sempervirens, 349 points, Redwood National Park, California
  2. Coast redwood*, Sequoia sempervirens, 321 points, Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, California
  3. Coast redwood*, Sequoia sempervirens, 307 points, Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, California
  4. Coast redwood*, Sequoia sempervirens, 299 points, Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, California
  5. Coast Douglas-fir, Pseudotsuga menziesii, 281 points, Olympic National Forest, Washington
  6. Giant sequoia, Sequoiadendron giganteum, 274 points, Sequoia National Park, California
  7. Port-orford-cedar, Chamaecyparis lawsoniana, 242 points, Coos, Oregon
  8. Western hemlock, Tsuga heterophylla, 237 points, Olympic National Park, Washington
  9. Pacific ponderosa pine, Pinus ponderosa var. benthamiana, 235 points, El Dorado, California
  10. Pacific silver fir*, Abies amabilis, 222 points, Olympic National Park, Washington

The Top 10 States by Number of Champion Trees

    1. 111, Florida
    2. 89, Texas
    3. 86, Virginia
    4. 68, California
    5. 34, Washington
    6. 27, Michigan
    7. 25, Oregon
    8. 22, North Carolina
    9. 21, Georgia