By Katrina Marland & Michelle Werts

Hawaii's champion palm coconut
Hawaii’s champion palm coconut. Credit: Hawaii’s Big Tree Program

We’ve been teasing you with tidbits from it for weeks, but today, the teasing is done: The full 2012 National Register of Big Trees is now available over in the Big Tree section.

Now, for those of you that are newbies to Loose Leaf or to the National Register, since 1940, American Forests has been working to locate, appreciate and protect the biggest trees in the country through our National Big Tree Program. From towering giants to wizened favorites to tiny titans, the register recognizes the biggest trees from hundreds and hundreds of species.

So, what are some of the highlights of the new 2012 register? Oh, so many:

  • 761 champion trees
  • 16 native Hawaiian species now on eligible species list
  • 90-plus new champions
  • 70-ish dethroned champions
  • 220 species without champions
  • 111 champions in Florida, the state with the most champion trees
  • 5 states with no champions: Delaware, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Rhode Island and Wyoming

Also, for the first time this year, American Forests will update the register not once, but twice! This fall, we’ll be updating the register again to reflect any changes to the champion trees. So get out there and find some big trees — especially one of those eligible species with no champs, as you’ll become an instant celebrity (in the big-tree world) with a national champion tree to your name.