A champion tree is the largest known tree of a given species in a particular geographic area. Some champions are very large trees and some champions are rather small. The largest known tree in Maryland, an American sycamore, is more than eight feet across. The largest known pawpaw in the United States is just ten inches across. Both of these trees are in Montgomery County.
In Montgomery County, the Forestry Board keeps track of and measures more than 300 large and significant trees. They use this information to identify the Montgomery County Champion of each species. The Forestry Board has kept a list of champions since 1989.
Champion trees are measured and given points. The tree with the most points is considered the largest. The formula for the points is:
Champion trees in Montgomery County are measured using the same guidelines used by the American Forests National Big Tree Program. Each tree must be measured at least once every ten years to maintain its champion status.
This Champion Tree Measurement Formula was developed by Fred Besley, Maryland's first State Forester. With some modifications, it was later adopted nationwide and is still used today. Mr. Besley began keeping records of "notable trees" in Maryland in 1925.
Current Champion Trees
Registers of Montgomery County Champion Trees
The Montgomery County Forestry Board publishes a new list of Champion Trees every odd-numbered year.
The 2015-2016 Register of Champion Trees, Montgomery County, Maryland is available in several formats.
Past Registers of Champion Trees in Montgomery County are available.
You Can Nominate a Tree
Do you know of a great tree? Do you think you found a champion? You can nominate it. The Forestry Board accepts nominations at any time. Complete the nomination form below or call the local office of the Maryland Forest Service at 301.854.6060.