national register ofChampion Trees

In September of 1940, American Forests (then The American Forestry Association) launched a campaign to locate the largest living specimens of American trees. The National Register of Champion Trees started out as a competition, a national hunt to discover and preserve the largest specimens of American tree species. The campaign to find America’s largest trees grew from a desire to protect and preserve them for future generations. The trees people hunted for were scattered through forest and field, along roadways, and in backyards.

lilian cromelin champion tree big tree program american forests american forestry association 2019

Lililan Cromelin, associate editor of American Forests Magazine, created the initial program for Social Register of Big Tree Champions in 1940.

Over 75 years later that competition lives on today. 

Locate, measure, and nominate the largest trees you can find to American Forests’ National Register of Champion Trees. The challenge to all tree lovers is to locate and nominate trees larger than those currently listed, if they exist. Strike out on your own or take friends with you. Find the Champions of the nearly 900 tree species and varieties eligible for the register.

Support the champs today

Your gift helps support our Champion Trees, the nation’s oldest, biggest and most magnificent trees.



View and search the 2020 National Register of Champion Trees


Nominate a big tree that you think can achieve champion status for its species.