A Whopping 109 New Champions & Co-Champions Are Included

National Champion great basin bristlecone (Pinus-langaeva).

Washington, D.C. (August 21, 2017) — The champions are here! American Forests could not be prouder to present the 2017 Champion Trees national register, chronicling the largest-known and most impressive trees of each species around the United States. Rigorous big tree hunters spanned the country and tallied a whopping 109 new champions and co-champions across the country.

The Champion Trees national register has recorded the most prominent trees in our country since 1940, and includes 657 species! The register has inspired countless people across the decades to interact with nature, leading many into lives of conservation and restoration. Elderly “statesmen” trees are critical to sustaining healthy forests, and their role in the ecosystem matches their champion size. Much of the time they are hidden in the depths of the forest, and have enticed people to explore new wildernesses to find them.

With 21 new champions and co-champions, Virginia takes the crown as the state with the most new winners. Hawaii receives the dubious honor of most trees dethroned with seven, but they also picked up 13 new champions in the process. Florida remains the state leader with 127 total champions!

Champions are measured by height, circumference and spread, and these three factors determine their total point calculation. Our largest new champion this year is a baldcypress (Taxodium distichum) in Louisiana, measuring in at 91 feet tall, a massive 626 inches around, and spreading 87 feet, for a total score of 739. The smallest new champion is a clammy locust (Robinia viscosa) out of Montana, measuring in with a height of 18 feet, a circumference of 12 inches and a spread of 13 feet. Fortunately for the elite ranks of veteran victors, this year’s new crop didn’t displace our reigning overall national champion, a giant sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum) in California that scores 1,321 overall points and has been champion since our first national register in 1940.

We are always updating our database, and we crown champions annually, so please get involved in the search and tally of America’s largest trees. You never know, your favorite tree just may be a champion!



American Forests restores and protects urban and rural forests. Founded in 1875, the first national nonprofit conservation organization in the country has served as a catalyst for many key milestones in the conservation movement, including the founding of the U.S. Forest Service, the national forest and national park systems as well as leading literally thousands of forest ecosystem restoration projects and public education efforts. Working in forests in all 50 states and in 45 countries, American Forests has planted more than 50 million trees, 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.


Lea Sloan | Vice President of Communications | 202.370.4509 (direct) | lsloan@americanforests.org