National Register of Big Trees
The National Register of Big Trees is a list of the largest living specimens of each tree variety found in the continental United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. A tree on this list is often called a National Champion Tree.

This list has been maintained since 1940 by American Forests
American Forests
American Forests is a 501 non-profit conservation organization dedicated to protecting and restoring healthy forest ecosystems. Their stated mission is to "grow a healthier world with trees". The organization was established in 1875 as the American Forestry Association by physician and...

, a nonprofit conservation organization. To be eligible, a species must be recognized as native or naturalized in the continental United States, including Alaska
Alaska is the largest state in the United States by area. It is situated in the northwest extremity of the North American continent, with Canada to the east, the Arctic Ocean to the north, and the Pacific Ocean to the west and south, with Russia further west across the Bering Strait...

 but not Hawaii
Hawaii is the newest of the 50 U.S. states , and is the only U.S. state made up entirely of islands. It is the northernmost island group in Polynesia, occupying most of an archipelago in the central Pacific Ocean, southwest of the continental United States, southeast of Japan, and northeast of...

, as documented in Elbert L. Little Jr.'s Checklist of United States Trees (Native and Naturalized), published in 1979 as Agricultural Handbook 541 by the United States Department of Agriculture
United States Department of Agriculture
The United States Department of Agriculture is the United States federal executive department responsible for developing and executing U.S. federal government policy on farming, agriculture, and food...

. At present 747 native and 79 naturalized trees are eligible, for a total of 826 eligible species and varieties.

American Forests uses the following formula to calculate a point score for each tree so that they may be compared to others:
Trunk Circumference (in inches) + Height (in feet) + Average Crown Spread (in feet) = Total Points

The current list of National Champion Trees is available online. In addition to the national list, several states, counties, and cities maintain their own list of local Champion Trees. Many are on public ground and can be visited without obtaining prior permission. The public may nominate trees as well.

, the largest National Champion Tree is a giant sequoia in California. Known as the General Sherman tree, it is some 83.8 m (274.9 feet) tall, 31.1 m (1,024 inches) in circumference and 32.5 m (106.5 feet) in average crown spread.

External links

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