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A Champion Tree is the largest known tree of a given species in a particular geographic area. For example, the largest known American sycamore in Montgomery County is the County Champion. It is also the State Champion. In fact, it is THE largest known tree of all trees in Maryland. The Montgomery County Forest Conservancy District Board has kept a list of Champion Trees in the County since 1989. The Board publishes its Champion Tree Register every other year.
View the 2013 Champion Tree Register – low-resolution digital version (PDF, 32 pp, 5.7Mb)
View the 2013 Champion Tree Register – hard copy version (PDF, 20 pp, 4.5Mb)
View the 2011 Champion Tree Register (PDF, 16 pp, 12.8Mb)
View the 2009 Champion Tree Register (PDF, 16 pp, 11.5Mb)
Watch a video about Champion Trees in Montgomery County produced by the Gazette newspaper.
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The official Champion Tree Measurement Formula was developed by Fred Besley, Maryland's first State Forester. With some modifications, it was later adopted nationwide. Mr. Besley began keeping records of "notable trees" in Maryland in 1925. The formula is
Circumference (in inches) + height (in feet) + 1/4 of the average crown spread in feet = total points
The tree's circumference is usually measured 4.5 feet from the ground at the base of the trunk unless the tree forks below 4.5 feet. The crown spread is the average of two trunk-to-branch tip measurements taken at a right angle (90 degrees).
The official Champion Tree Register is published every other year. Nominations are accepted at any time and are encouraged. To nominate a big tree in Montgomery County, call 301.854.6060 to request a nomination form or download the form at http://www.mcmdforestryboard.org.