Annual Champion and Heritage Tree Tour April 5, 2020 - Indeﬁnitely Postponed due to Covid-19 Emergency. Let me know if you would like to be notiﬁed when it will be rescheduled.
One of my hobbies is to search for big and champion trees. For the last nineteen years, Jerry Sortomme and I lead an annual tour of the national champion trees in Goleta County. I welcome you to our next tour on April 5, 2020. You can also get involved in the search and nomination process yourself. See the information below, or call me at (805) 252-1952.
How to Nominate a Heritage/Champion Tree
Locating a tree to nominate is the ﬁrst task in the nomination process. The easiest way to do this is to keep your
eyes open when outside! Keep in mind that not all champions are giants. Look for both naturalized and native species, as well as shrub species. For example, the National Champion Paciﬁc Rhododendron grows in Mendocino County, with a circumference of 20 inches, height of 33 feet and crown spread of 20 feet.
Searching for a speciﬁc tree species may be a good way to begin your big tree search. There are several books that can provide information to help with identiﬁcation. Your local forester may also help. You will also need the current register to see how your tree measures up to the current champion. Keep in mind that current champs can be “dethroned” and that there are several species without a state champion. A nomination form must be ﬁlled out for each tree.
California Big Tree Website – californiabigtrees.calpoly.edu
American Forests National Champions website – www.americanforests.org/explore-forests/americas-biggest-trees
The California Register of Big Trees uses American Forests’ formula to determine whether a tree is a champion.
Trunk circumference in inches
+ Height in feet
+ 1/4 of the crown spread in feet
= Total Points
To measure the tree’s circumference, measure around the tree at 4-1/2 feet above the ground on the tree’s uphill side. If the tree forks below or bulges at 4-1/2 feet, measure the circumference where the tree reaches normal size or tapers below the 4-1/2 foot point. For accurate measurement, use a diameter tape or regular tape measure.