National Cadre of tree measurers is established as program celebrates its 75th anniversary

Washington, D.C. (February 3, 2014) — American Forests’ Bryant Smith announced today that the deadline for nominating champion trees for the 2015 register will be March 20. This year marks the 75th anniversary for American Forests National Big Tree Program, the only national record of the largest trees of their species, based on height, trunk circumference and crown spread.

The American Forests Champion Trees national register, sponsored by The Davey Tree Expert Company, accepts nominations for national champions year round, but this year, will release an updated version of the register just once, on April 22. Currently there are nearly 800 national champion trees.

In addition, Smith announced the establishment of the National Cadre of expert tree measurers, professionals with advanced skills who will, within a few years, become the certifiers of all national nominations.

“This year we expect a record number of nominations,” Smith said. “And with our newly published Measuring Guidelines Handbook ready for reference on our website and creation of the National Cadre, we are aiming to upgrade the accuracy of the register so that the measurements will eventually be of scientific research value.”


Part of the National Cadre development includes a series of workshops hosted on:

  • April 17, 2015 at Cook Forest State Park in Pennsylvania
  • May 8, 2015 at Mohawk Trail State Forest in Massachusetts
  • June 27, 2015 in Durango, Colo.


The Measuring Guidelines Handbook, laid out for beginner, intermediate and advanced levels of expertise, was developed over the last two years by the American Forests Big Tree Measuring Guidelines Working Group, headed by Robert Leverett of the Native Tree Society and Don Bertolette of the Alaska Big Tree Program, along with American Forests’ staff. The handbook was created to help ensure that all champion trees have been accurately measured to confirm they are the biggest of their species. The guidelines define and describe the techniques for accurate measurement and how to handle challenges such as trees growing on slopes, multi-stemmed trees and obscured views of a tree’s crown.

Sandra Reid, vice president of corporate communications and strategic planning for The Davey Tree Expert Company, said the company’s sponsorship is tied to a goal of increasing awareness of the benefits of tree care. “We understand that the maintenance of healthy trees and forests today helps ensure their survival for generations to come,” she continued. “By supporting the National Big Tree Program for 25 years, Davey has been able to bring into focus the value of all trees and the environment in which they live and thrive.”

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.





Founded in 1875, American Forests is the oldest national nonprofit conservation organization in the U.S. Its mission is to restore threatened forest ecosystems and inspire people to value and protect urban and wildland forests. In the past 25 years alone, American Forests has planted nearly 50 million trees in approximately 1,000 high-impact forest restoration projects. These projects have restored hundreds of thousands of acres of wildlife habitat, protected vital watersheds and sequestered millions of tons of greenhouse gases. American Forests is also one of the nation’s leading advocates for expanding urban tree canopy and green space, and a key funder of urban forest initiatives that have transformed communities across the country. Learn more at


The Davey Tree Expert Company’s more than 8,000 employees provide tree care, grounds maintenance and environmental consulting services for the residential, utility, commercial and government markets throughout the U.S. and Canada. Davey has provided Proven Solutions for a Growing World since 1880 and has been employee-owned for 35 years. For more information, visit


Christopher Horn | Director of Communications | 202.370.4517 (direct) | 913.549.0769 (cell) |