How to Report a Big Tree

Discovered a big tree? Have updates on a champ? Submit info here.

The Virginia Big Tree Program has documented the state’s largest trees since the program began in 1970. Information about these trees is curated in the Virginia Big Tree Register, an online database open to the public. Our quest to document these trees would not be possible without the help of tree enthusiasts around the state. You too can help us discover and document these trees.

The Virginia Big Tree Register curates the five largest specimens of native and non-native tree species found in Virginia. To be eligible for the register, a specimen must be at least 13 feet tall and have a trunk circumference of 9.5 inches at 4.5 feet above the ground. We currently accept nominations for any tree species found growing in Virginia. If you have questions about tree eligibility, please contact us at vabigtree@vt.edu.

Before nominating a tree, please search the register to determine if your tree is a contender for the register. Trees are ranked based on a scoring system that uses measurements of tree height, trunk circumference, and crown spread. For instructions on tree measurement and scoring, visit this page.

To ensure that you collect the correct information for your tree, you may opt to print out this data collection form and take it with you when you visit the tree.

Before submitting a nomination using our online form, please ensure that you have the following:

  1. Information about the tree’s owner, location, and measurements
  2. At least two digital photographs of the tree to upload: (i) a close-up view of the trunk from ground level to chest height and (ii) a wide-angle view of as much of the tree’s height as possible

A nomination of a tree on private property will not be entered into the register until permission to do so is obtained from the property owner. All nominations are subject to review and verification by the Virginia Big Tree Program. In submitting a nomination, you are affirming that you have provided complete and accurate information to the best of your ability.

TO OPEN THE ONLINE NOMINATION FORM, CLICK HERE.

To ensure that the Virginia Big Tree Register is accurate and up-to-date, we require existing trees to be recertified at least once every 10 years. The purpose of recertification is:

  1. Verify that the tree is still alive
  2. Document changes in its size and big tree score
  3. Identify any threats to its well-being
  4. Note any changes in tree ownership

We need your help to recertify trees. If you want to submit a recertification for a tree, please contact us first (vabigtree@vt.edu) to confirm that recertification is needed. We may already have someone assigned to it.

To ensure that you collect the correct information for your tree, you may opt to print out this data collection form and take it with you when you visit the tree.

Before submitting a recertification using our online form, please ensure that you have the following:

  1. Information about the tree’s owner, location, and measurements
  2. At least two digital photographs of the tree to upload: (i) a close-up view of the trunk from ground level to chest height and (ii) a wide-angle view of as much of the tree’s height as possible

All recertifications are subject to review and verification by the Virginia Big Tree Program. In submitting a recertification, you are affirming that you have provided complete and accurate information to the best of your ability.

TO OPEN THE ONLINE RECERTIFICATION FORM, CLICK HERE.

To ensure that the Virginia Big Tree Register is accurate and up-to-date, we aim to document the death of big trees as quickly as possible. That way people are not disappointed if they go searching for a tree listed as alive in the register.

When reporting the death of a big tree, please note the location of the tree (city or county) and the current point score or database ID# of the tree. This will help us accurately flag the tree in the register.

TO REPORT THE DEATH OF A BIG TREE, CLICK HERE.