Hunt Big Trees

Are you interested in hunting for big trees? Here is some information to get you started. Once you have found a big tree, you can report it to us using our online reporting system.

  • Eligible species. Currently, the Virginia Big Tree Register curates the five largest specimens of native and non-native species found throughout Virginia. Nominations are not limited to only species currently listed in the register. If you have questions about species eligibility, please contact us at vabigtree@vt.edu. If you need information about tree species found in Virginia, here are three useful online resources:
  • Virginia Big Tree Most Wanted List (a Google Sheet listing the species lacking a full complement of champs in Virginia)
  • Digital Atlas of Virginia Flora
  • Virginia Tech Dendrology

  • Minimum tree size. For a tree to be eligible for nomination, it must have a trunk circumference of 9.5” at 4.5’ above ground line and be at least 13’ tall. For more information about tree measurements, visit our page on How to Measure a Big Tree.

  • Field equipment. Here is a list of items you should take to the field with you when hunting big trees. If you do not have these items, we can arrange for you to borrow them at a local extension office. Please contact us at vabigtree@vt.edu.
  • Tree identification guide
  • Measuring tape (100’ reel tape demarcated in feet and inches recommended)
  • Yard stick (for estimating tree height using the “stick trick”)
  • Map and/or GPS unit
  • Camera
  • Data collection form