The Champion Tree Program recognizes and celebrates the state’s largest trees. Georgia Forestry Commission oversees the state’s champion tree program. Do you have a champion tree? Nominate your tree and find out if its a Champion!
A champion tree is defined as the largest known tree of a particular species. To be considered, a tree must meet all of the following criteria:
- It must have an erect woody perennial stem, or trunk, at least 9.5 inches in circumference measured 4.5 feet from the ground.
- It must have a definitely formed crown of foliage and be at least 13 feet in total height.
- It must be a species recognized as native or naturalized in the continental United States.
The GFC uses Elbert L. Little Jr.’s Checklist of United States Trees (Native and Naturalized) to determine eligibility. It was published in 1979 as U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Handbook 541. There are species currently on Georgia’s Champion Tree list not listed in the Handbook because, in the past, any tree species was accepted. The goal is to remove these species over time as these champions cease to exist. Any naturalized tree species considered invasive will not be considered. Review a complete list of Georgia invasive trees.