Alabama's Champion Tree Program began in 1970, when 28 trees were listed. In 2017, there were 159 Champion and Co-Champion trees of 143 different species. Modeled after American Forest's Big Tree Program, it is designed to discover, recognize and preserve the largest of each native tree species in Alabama. Once a champion is declared, its owner and nominator receive certificates, and a permanent marker is placed at the base of the tree.
A Champion Tree is the largest of its particular species in Alabama. The Forestry Commission uses a formula developed by American Forests to determine the points assigned to a tree based on three size measurements. The point system is figured as follows: one point for each inch of circumference, plus one point for each foot of height, plus one point for each four feet of average crown spread. Instructions for using this formula can be found on page 12 of the Champion Tree publication.
The Forestry Commission is charged by state law to ensure that our forests meet the needs of all Alabamians. Preserving special trees and promoting the value of trees is one of these needs.
The Alabama Forestry Commission therefore supports saving and recognizing trees through the Champion Tree Program. Champion trees are not only special, but are worth protection and recognition for future generations.
Anyone can nominate a tree for this program by completing the online nomination form, which require's the owner's contact information and permission to access the tree.
Alabama's Champion Trees, if large enough, will be submitted to the National Register of Big Trees maintained by American Forests in Washington D.C. The Alabama Champion Tree Program uses the same point system as the National Register.
Online Nomination Form
How does your tree measure up?
This online calculator will give you a rough estimate if your tree is big enough to become the next champion tree. Please compare this to The Champion Trees of Alabama listed below.
Circumference: inches around the stem measured 4.5 feet above the ground
Height: estimate distance in feet from tallest point on the tree to the ground
Spread: average measurement in feet from one side of the drip line to another
For more information about Alabama Champion Trees, please contact:
Phone: (334) 467-7971
Champion Trees of Alabama
Alabama Forestry Commission
PO Box 302550
Montgomery, Alabama 36130-2550