News from the DNR Office of Communications

Maryland Adds Five Species To National Register Of Big Trees

Annapolis, MD (May 10, 2010) — The Maryland Big Trees Program (MBTP) announces that 23 trees in Maryland are now listed as National Champion Trees. All of these trees have been officially registered, measured and photographed in Maryland, and are located on both private and public lands. This list is compiled every two years by American Forests, a national nonprofit environmental and forestry group, and recognizes the largest trees of each species in the United States.

“We have a long history of forest stewardship in our State dealing with everything from the care of thousands of acres of preserved forest to a 100 sq ft tree planting by school children in Baltimore,” said Maryland Forestry Director Steve Koehn. “It is an honor to have so many recognized Big Tree Champions. It tells us that we’re moving in the right direction.”

To be eligible for listing in the National Register of Big Trees, a species must be recognized as native or naturalized in the continental United States. Official big tree designations are based on a point system, which relies upon three measurements, including: trunk circumference at 4 feet above the ground; vertical tree height; and the average crown spread. These measurements are added together to calculate the tree’s total points. When two trees have scores that fall within 5 points of each other, they are listed as co-champions.

The Maryland Big Trees Program (MBTP) is a volunteer organization that accepts big tree nominations from the public; measures, photographs and registers these trees; and submits any potential National Champion tree to American Forests. The MBTP was started in 1925 by Maryland’s first forester, Fred Besley, and became a national program in 1940 using the guidelines that Mr. Besley established.

The complete 2010 National Register of Big Trees is available online at, along with facts about the champion trees and instructions for measuring and nominating a champion tree. For more information about the Maryland Big Tree Program, contact John Bennett at, or call 410-287-5980 to nominate a big tree.

English Name of Tree County Year Selected as Champion
American Beech Anne Arundel 1995
Swamp Chestnut Oak Kent 2010
American Basswood Charles 2010
Chestnut Oak Anne Arundel 2003
Honeylocust Frederick 1999
Boxelder Frederick 2003
Slippery Elm Frederick 2003
Black Mulberry Carroll 1999
Kentucky Coffeetree Montgomery 2010
Kentucky Coffeetree Washington 2007
Bitternut Hickory Harford 2010
Common Shagbark Hickory Anne Arundel 2007
Norway Maple Harford 2010
Eastern Hemlock Harford 2010
Common Chokecherry Baltimore 1999
American Holly Prince George’s 2007
Bigleaf Magnolia Howard 2007
Southern Crab Apple Kent 2007
Smooth Blackhaw Montgomery 2007
Common Pawpaw Montgomery 2010
Common Pawpaw Prince George’s 2010
Cockspur Hawthorn Montgomery 2010
Poison-sumac Anne Arundel 2000

   May 10, 2010

Contact: Josh Davidsburg
410-260-8002 office I 410-507-7526 cell

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR), which celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2009, is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages more than 467,000 acres of public lands and 17,000 miles of waterways, along with Maryland's forests, fisheries, and wildlife for maximum environmental, economic and quality of life benefits. A national leader in land conservation, DNR-managed parks and natural, historic, and cultural resources attract 12 million visitors annually. DNR is the lead agency in Maryland's effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, the state's number one environmental priority. Learn more at