About the Virginia Big Tree Program

Who we are

The Virginia Big Tree Program began as a 4-H and FFA project in 1970. Today the program is coordinated by the Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation at Virginia Tech. We are a passionate community of tree enthusiasts that includes Virginia Tech faculty and staff, Virginia Cooperative Extension staff, and numerous individual and organizational volunteers from around the state. Our mission is to increase the care and appreciation for all trees – big and small – and educate the Commonwealth about the value of trees and forests.


What we do

The Virginia Big Tree Program maintains a register of the 5 largest specimens of over 300 native, non-native, and naturalized tree species. The register includes information about each tree’s size, location, and unique characteristics. Each tree must be re-certified every 10 years to maintain its status in the register. The Virginia Big Tree Program is affiliated with the National Big Tree Program, which is administered by American Forests. Virginia has consistently ranked among the top-five states for national champion trees.


Program Contacts

Dr. Eric Wiseman
Program Coordinator

VT Department of Forest Resources
and Environmental Conservation
228 Cheatham Hall (0324)
Blacksburg, VA 24061

540-231-5148
pwiseman@vt.edu


Dr. Jeff Kirwan
Program Coordinator Emeritus

VT Department of Forest Resources
and Environmental Conservation
310 Cheatham Hall (0324)
Blacksburg, VA 24061

540-231-6780
jkirwan@vt.edu


John Peterson
Database Programmer

VT Department of Forest Resources
and Environmental Conservation
228 Cheatham Hall (0324)
Blacksburg, VA  24061

540-231-8942
jopeters@vt.edu


Tracey S. Sherman
Program Support Technician

VT Department of Forest Resources
and Environmental Conservation
310 Cheatham Hall (0324)
Blacksburg, VA  24061

540-231-7671
Tracey@vt.edu


Sarah Gugercin
Web Design

VT Department of Horticulture
306-A Saunders Hall (0327)
Blacksburg, VA 24061

sbgugercin@vt.edu


Alexandria Cassell
Intern

VT Department of Forest Resources
and Environmental Conservation
310 Cheatham Hall (0324)
Blacksburg, VA 24061



Organizations that Assist with this Program