The Vermont Big Tree Program

A black cherry tree is recognized as a Vermont Big Tree
The state champion black cherry, located in Rupert, is pictured here with owner, Madeline Leach and big tree enthusiast, Don Lewis.

When hiking in Vermont’s woods, have you ever been wowed by a larger than average tree? Or perhaps you have a mammoth specimen growing in your own backyard. If so, you may be looking at a champion tree, one worth adding to the state’s big tree database.

The Vermont Big Tree Program is an ongoing effort to locate, measure and record the largest trees in the state. Currently 53 species are listed in the database, twice as many as when the list was first created in 1972 by Jeff Freeman, a now retired Castleton University botany professor. Today the database is maintained by the Vermont Urban and Community Forestry program, a partnership of University of Vermont Extension and the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation.

If you think your tree may be eligible for inclusion, first view the list of confirmed big tree champions and list vacancies. A searchable database, formula to calculate size, nomination form and other details can be found at

The listing for each tree, even if located on private property, includes an image, measurements and date of last official visit. Location information is provided if the tree is on public land or viewable from the road or other public property if on private land.

Staff from the Vermont Urban & Community Forestry Program will spend the summer and fall conducting site visits of nominated trees.

%d bloggers like this: