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​​​Cherry Bark Oak TreeIn 1940, the American Forests organization began a search of the largest specimen of each species of American trees.  This list, now called the National Registry of Big Trees, contains the names of more than 870 species. Kentucky has eleven national champions or co-champions.

The Division of Forestry began compiling a list of state champion trees in 1968.  The first list contained 51 species. Only trees referenced in the book Trees & Shrubs of Kentucky by Mary E. Wharton & Roger W. Barbour are considered for the Kentucky Champion Tree Program.  The list is continually changing as new species are added and former champions are replaced either because they die or a larger specimen is nominated. 

Swamp Chestnut Oak

Kentucky has several trees on the National Registry of Big Trees. Check them out here.

​​Species Without State Champions:​

Ash, green (Fraxinus pennsylvanica)
Basswood, white (Tilia floridana)
Buckeye, Ohio (Aesculus glabra)
Chestnut, dwarf (Castanea pumila)
Cottonwood, swamp (Populus heterophylla)
Dogwood, silky (Cornus amomum)
Dogwood, rough-leaf (Cornus drummondi)
Elm, water (Planera aquatica)
Fringe-tree (Chionanthus virginicus)
Gum, Tupelo (sour gum) (Nyssa aquatica)
Hackberry, smooth (sugarberry) (Celtis laevigata)
Hawthorn, cockspur thorn (Crataegus crus-galli)
Hickory, mockernut (Carya tomentosa)
Linden (Tilia floridana)
​Plum, wild (Prunus americana)
Sweetgum (Liquidamber styraciflua)
Willow, heart-leaf (Salix rigida)
Witch-Hazel (Hamamelis virginiana)
Yew, American (Taxus canadensis)

Search by Keyword

  • National
    Champion

    Ash, blue

    Fraxinus quadrangulata

    blue ash facts [pdf, 290KB]
    Champion Tree Specs
    Jefferson/Private
  • Ash, green

    Fraxinus pennsylvanica

    green ash facts [pdf, ]
    Champion Tree Specs
    Needs new champion/Private
  • Ash, white

    Fraxinus americana

    white ash facts [pdf, 413KB]
    Champion Tree Specs
    Clark/Private
  • Aspen, bigtooth

    Populus grandidentata

    bigtooth aspen facts [pdf, 152KB]
    Champion Tree Specs
    Casey/Private
  • Baldcypress, common

    Taxodium distichum

    baldcypress facts [pdf, 472KB]
    Champion Tree Specs
    Woodford/Private Property
  • National
    Champion

    Basswood, American

    Tilia americana

    American basswood facts [pdf, 101KB]
    Champion Tree Specs
    Fayette/Lexington cemetery
  • Beech, American

    Fagus grandifolia

    American beech facts [pdf, 345KB]
    Champion Tree Specs
    Hart/Private
  • Birch, river

    Betula nigra

    river birch facts [pdf, 416KB]
    Champion Tree Specs
    Perry/Buckhorn State Park
  • Birch, sweet

    Betula lenta

    sweet birch facts [pdf, 337KB]
    Champion Tree Specs
    Bell/KY Ridge State Forest
  • Birch, yellow

    Betula alleghiensis

    yellow birch facts [pdf, 187KB]
    Champion Tree Specs
    Harlan/Black Mt.
  • Blackgum (tupelo, black)

    Nyssa sylvatica

    blackgum facts [web site, 365KB]
    Champion Tree Specs
    Bell/Cumberland Gap National Park
  • Blackhaw, rusty

    Viburnum rufidulum

    rusty blackhaw facts [pdf, 172KB]
    Champion Tree Specs
    Hopkins/In right of way of higway 62
  • Buckeye, red

    Aesculus pavia

    red buckeye fact sheet [pdf, 1MB]
    Champion Tree Specs
    Fayette/UK Arboretum
  • Buckeye, yellow

    Aesculus flava

    yellow buckeye facts [pdf, 1MB]
    Champion Tree Specs
    Casey/Private
  • Butternut

    Juglans cinerea

    butternut facts [pdf, 140KB]
    Champion Tree Specs
    Pike/Faith Baptist Church
  • Catalpa, northern

    Catalpa speciosa

    northern catalpa facts [pdf, 322KB]
    Champion Tree Specs
    Clark/Private
  • Catalpa, southern

    Catalpa bignonioides

    southern catalpa facts [pdf, ]
    Champion Tree Specs
    Adair/Lindsey Wilson College
  • Cherry, black

    Prunus serotina

    black cherry facts [pdf, 278KB]
    Champion Tree Specs
    Hardin/Private
  • Chestnut, American

    Castanea dentata

    American chestnut facts [pdf, 161KB]
    Champion Tree Specs
    Adair/Private
  • Chestnut, dwarf

    Castanea pumila

    dwarf chestnut facts [pdf, ]
    Champion Tree Specs
    Needs Champion
  • Coffeetree, Kentucky

    Gymnocladus dioicus

    Kentucky coffeetree facts [pdf, 452KB]
    Champion Tree Specs
    Harrison/KDFWR-Griffith Woods
  • Cottonwood, eastern

    Populus deltoides

    eastern cottonwood facts [pdf, 68KB]
    Champion Tree Specs
    Warren/Private Property
  • Cottonwood, swamp

    Populus heterophylla

    swamp cottonwood facts [pdf, 178KB]
    Champion Tree Specs
    Ballard/Boatwright WMA
  • Devil's walkingstick

    Aralia spinosa

    devil's walkingstick facts [pdf, 207KB]
    Champion Tree Specs
    Jefferson/Jefferson Memorial Forest
  • Dogwood, flowering

    Cornus florida

    flowering dogwood facts [pdf, 1MB]
    Champion Tree Specs
    Barren/Bon Ayr Church
  • Elm, American

    Ulmus americana

    American elm facts [pdf, 232KB]
    Champion Tree Specs
    Jackson/Private
  • National
    Champion

    Elm, slippery

    Ulmus rubra

    slippery elm facts [pdf, 58KB]
    Champion Tree Specs
    Jefferson/Masonic Home of Kentucky
  • Elm, water

    Planera aquatica

    water elm facts [pdf, ]
    Champion Tree Specs
    Needs new champion
  • Elm, winged

    Ulmus alata

    winged elm facts [pdf, 252KB]
    Champion Tree Specs
    Hardin/Private Property
  • Hackberry, common

    Celtis occidentalis

    common hackberry facts [pdf, 73KB]
    Champion Tree Specs
    Mason/Private
  • Hackberry, smooth

    smooth hackberry facts [web site, ]
    Champion Tree Specs
    Needs new champion
  • Hawthorn, downy

    Crataegus mollis

    downy hawthorn facts [pdf, 188KB]
    Champion Tree Specs
    Fayette/LFUCG-Waverly Park
  • Hawthorn, green

    Crataegus viridis

    green hawthorn facts [pdf, 426KB]
    Champion Tree Specs
    Fayette/LFUCG-Castlewood Park
  • Hawthorn, Washington

    Crataegus phaenopyrum

    Washington hawthorn facts [pdf, 365KB]
    Champion Tree Specs
    Fayette/Henry Clay Estate
  • Hazelnut, American

    American hazelnut facts [web site, ]
    Champion Tree Specs
    Needs new champion
  • Hemlock, eastern

    Tsuga canadensis

    eastern hemlock facts [pdf, 337KB]
    Champion Tree Specs
    Harlan/Pine Mt. Settlement School
  • Hickory, bitternut

    Carya cordiformis

    bitternut hickory facts [pdf, 261KB]
    Champion Tree Specs
    Lewis/Private
  • Hickory, mockernut

    Carya tomentosa

    mockernut hickory facts [pdf, 154KB]
    Champion Tree Specs
    Needs a new champion
  • National
    Champion

    Hickory, pignut

    Carya glabra

    pignut hickory facts [pdf, 301KB]
    Champion Tree Specs
    Allen/Private
  • Hickory, red

    Carya Ovalis

    red hickory fact sheet [web site, 104KB]
    Champion Tree Specs
    Clay/Daniel Boone National Forest, Red Bird Ranger District
  • Hickory, shagbark

    Carya ovata

    shagbark hickory facts [pdf, 358KB]
    Champion Tree Specs
    McCreary/National Park Service
  • Hickory, shellbark

    Carya laciniosa

    shellbark hickory facts [pdf, 294KB]
    Champion Tree Specs
    Greenup/Private
  • Holly, American

    Ilex opaca

    American holly fact sheet [pdf, ]
    Champion Tree Specs
    McCreary/Private Property
  • Hophornbeam, Eastern

    Ostrya virginiana

    American hophornbeam facts [pdf, 350KB]
    Champion Tree Specs
    Todd/Private
  • Hornbeam, American

    Carpinus caroliniana

    American hornbeam facts [pdf, 407KB]
    Champion Tree Specs
    Franklin/Frankfort Cemetery
  • Locust, black

    Robinia pseudoacacia

    black locust facts [pdf, 1MB]
    Champion Tree Specs
    Oldham/Private
  • Locust, honey

    Gleditsia triacanthos

    honey locust facts [pdf, 367KB]
    Champion Tree Specs
    Jefferson/Private
  • Locust, water

    Gleditsia aquatica

    water locust facts [pdf, 1MB]
    Champion Tree Specs
    Ballard/KDFWR-Boatwright WMA
  • Magnolia, bigleaf

    Magnolia macrophylla

    bigleaf magnolia facts [pdf, 258KB]
    Champion Tree Specs
    Harlan/Black Mountain
  • Magnolia, cucumbertree

    Magnolia acuminata

    cucumbertree magnolia facts [pdf, 351KB]
    Champion Tree Specs
    Fayette/Lexington Cemetery
  • Magnolia, Fraser's

    Magnolia fraseri

    Fraser's magnolia facts [pdf, 331KB]
    Champion Tree Specs
    Harlan/Black Mt.
  • Magnolia, southern

    Magnolia grandiflora

    southern magnolia fact sheet [pdf, ]
    Champion Tree Specs
    Jefferson/Private Property
  • Magnolia, umbrella

    Magnolia tripetala

    umbrella magnolia facts [pdf, 290KB]
    Champion Tree Specs
    Knox/Private
  • Maple, black

    Acer nigrum

    black maple facts [pdf, 400KB]
    Champion Tree Specs
    Shelby/Private Property
  • Maple, boxelder

    Acer negundo

    boxelder maple facts [pdf, 138KB]
    Champion Tree Specs
    Letcher/Private
  • Maple, mountain

    Acer spicatum

    mountain maple facts [pdf, 183KB]
    Champion Tree Specs
    Carter/Cascade Caverns State Nature Preserve
  • Maple, red

    Acer rubrum

    red maple fact sheet [pdf, 1MB]
    Champion Tree Specs
    McLean/Private Property
  • Maple, silver

    Acer saccharinum

    silver maple fact sheet [pdf, 93KB]
    Champion Tree Specs
    needs new champion/0
  • Maple, striped

    Acer pensylvanicum

    striped maple facts [pdf, 78KB]
    Champion Tree Specs
    Harlan/Black Mt.
  • Maple, sugar

    Acer saccharum

    sugar maple facts [pdf, 71KB]
    Champion Tree Specs
    Daviess/Private
  • Mulberry, red

    Morus rubra

    red mulberry facts [web site, ]
    Champion Tree Specs
    Carter/Private Property
  • Oak, black

    Quercus velutina

    black oak facts [pdf, 354KB]
    Champion Tree Specs
    Boyd/Private
  • Oak, blackjack

    Quercus marilandica

    blackjack oak facts [pdf, 102KB]
    Champion Tree Specs
    Calloway/Murray State University
  • Oak, bur

    Quercus macrocarpa

    bur oak facts [pdf, 358KB]
    Champion Tree Specs
    Woodford Co/Private
  • Oak, cherrybark

    Quercus pagoda

    cherrybark oak facts [pdf, 87KB]
    Champion Tree Specs
    Ohio/Private
  • Oak, chestnut

    Quercus montana

    chestnut oak facts [pdf, 298KB]
    Champion Tree Specs
    Johnson/Paintsville WMA
  • Oak, chinkapin

    Quercus muehlenbergii

    chinkapin oak facts [pdf, 294KB]
    Champion Tree Specs
    Harrison/UK-Griffith Woods
  • Oak, northern red

    Quercus rubra

    Northern red oak fact sheet [pdf, 266KB]
    Champion Tree Specs
    Bourbon/Garden Club of Kentucky, Inc.
  • Oak, overcup

    Quercus lyrata

    overcup oak facts [pdf, 69KB]
    Champion Tree Specs
    Livingston/Private Property
  • Oak, pin

    Quercus palustris

    pin oak facts [pdf, 389KB]
    Champion Tree Specs
    Daviess/Private
  • Oak, post

    Quercus stellata

    post oak facts [pdf, 151KB]
    Champion Tree Specs
    McCracken/McCracken Co Court House
  • Oak, scarlet

    Quercus coccinea

    scarlet oak facts [pdf, 266KB]
    Champion Tree Specs
    Bell/First Presbyterian Church
  • National
    Champion

    Oak, shingle

    Quercus imbricaria

    shingle oak facts [pdf, 288KB]
    Champion Tree Specs
    Jefferson/Private
  • National
    Champion

    Oak, shumard

    Quercus shumardii

    shumard oak facts [pdf, 112KB]
    Champion Tree Specs
    Powell/Private
  • Oak, southern red

    Quercus falcata

    southern red oak facts [pdf, 345KB]
    Champion Tree Specs
    Fulton Co-champion/Private
  • Oak, southern red

    Quercus falcata

    southern red oak facts [pdf, 345KB]
    Champion Tree Specs
    Laurel Co-champion/Daniel Boone National Forest
  • Oak, swamp chestnut

    Quesrcus michauxii

    swamp chestnut oak facts [pdf, 58KB]
    Champion Tree Specs
    Jefferson/Private
  • Oak, swamp white

    Quercus bicolor

    swamp white oak facts [pdf, 80KB]
    Champion Tree Specs
    Needs new champion
  • Oak, water

    Quercus nigra

    water oak facts [pdf, 152KB]
    Champion Tree Specs
    Marshall/KY Dam Village State Resort Park
  • Oak, white

    Quercus alba

    white oak facts [pdf, 305KB]
    Champion Tree Specs
    Warren/Private
  • Oak, willow

    Quercus phellos

    willow oak facts [pdf, 289KB]
    Champion Tree Specs
    Knox/Private
  • Osage Orange

    Maclura pomifera

    osage orange facts [pdf, 80KB]
    Champion Tree Specs
    Bourbon/Private
  • Pawpaw

    Asimina triloba

    pawpaw facts [pdf, 368KB]
    Champion Tree Specs
    Madison/Private
  • Pear, common

    Pyrus communis

    common pear facts [pdf, 102KB]
    Champion Tree Specs
    Leslie/Daniel Boone Parkway, Right-of-Way
  • Pecan

    Carya illinoinensis

    pecan facts [pdf, 256KB]
    Champion Tree Specs
    Fulton/Private
  • Persimmon, common

    Diospyros virginiana

    common persimmon facts [pdf, 97KB]
    Champion Tree Specs
    Daviess/Private Property
  • Pine, eastern white

    Pinus strobus

    eastern white pine facts [pdf, 117KB]
    Champion Tree Specs
    Edmonson/Mammoth Cave
  • Pine, pitch

    Pinus rigida

    pitch pine facts [pdf, 201KB]
    Champion Tree Specs
    Magoffin/Private
  • Pine, shortleaf

    Pinus echinata

    shortleaf pine facts [pdf, 168KB]
    Champion Tree Specs
    McCreary/DBNF - Sterns Dist
  • Pine, Virginia

    Pinus virginiana

    Virginia pine facts [pdf, 244KB]
    Champion Tree Specs
    Breathitt Co-champion/Private
  • Pine, Virginia

    Pinus virginiana

    Virginia pine fact sheet [pdf, ]
    Champion Tree Specs
    Metcalfe Co-champion/Private Property
  • Plum

    plum facts [web, ]
    Champion Tree Specs
    Needs new champion
  • Redbud, eastern

    Cercis canadensis

    eastern redbud facts [pdf, 487KB]
    Champion Tree Specs
    Mercer/West parking lot at Shaker Village
  • Redcedar, eastern

    Juniperus virginiana

    eastern red cedar facts [pdf, 83KB]
    Champion Tree Specs
    Greenup/Private Property
  • National
    Champion

    Sassafras

    Sassafras albidum

    sassafras facts [pdf, 313KB]
    Champion Tree Specs
    Daviess/Frederica Street
  • Serviceberry

    Amelanchier arborea

    serviceberry facts [pdf, 253KB]
    Champion Tree Specs
    McCreary/Private
  • Smoketree, American

    Cotinus obovatus

    American smoketree facts [pdf, 257KB]
    Champion Tree Specs
    Fayette/Lexington Cemetery
  • Sourwood

    Oxydendrum arboreum

    sourwood facts [pdf, 292KB]
    Champion Tree Specs
    Bell/Cumberland Gap NP
  • Sugarberry

    Celtis laevigata

    sugarberry facts [pdf, 131KB]
    Champion Tree Specs
    Fayette/Private
  • Sumac, winged

    Rhus, copallinum

    winged sumac facts [pdf, 52KB]
    Champion Tree Specs
    Pike/Kentucky DOT Right-of-Way
  • Sweetgum

    Liquidamber styraciflua

    sweetgum facts [pdf, 432KB]
    Champion Tree Specs
    Fulton/KDFWR Obion Creek WMA
  • Sycamore, American

    Platanus occidentalis

    American sycamore facts [pdf, 357KB]
    Champion Tree Specs
    Harrison/Private
  • Tupelo, water

    Nyssa aquatica

    water tupelo facts [pdf, 292KB]
    Champion Tree Specs
    Needs a new champion
  • Viburnum, blackhaw

    Viburnum prunifolium

    blackhaw viburnum facts [pdf, 66KB]
    Champion Tree Specs
    Fayette/LFUCG - Woodland Park
  • Viburnum, southern black-haw

    Viburnum rufidulum

    southern black-haw viburnum facts [pdf, ]
    Champion Tree Specs
    Hopkins/Private Property
  • Wahoo, eastern

    Euonymus atropurpureus

    eastern wahoo facts [pdf, 158KB]
    Champion Tree Specs
    Oldham/Private
  • Walnut, black

    Juglans nigra

    black walnut facts [pdf, 273KB]
    Champion Tree Specs
    Green/Private
  • Willow, black

    Salix nigra

    black willow facts [pdf, 274KB]
    Champion Tree Specs
    Harlan/Pine Mountain Settlement School
  • Yellow-poplar

    Liriodendron tulipifera

    yellow-poplar facts [pdf, 420KB]
    Champion Tree Specs
    McCreary/Daniel Boone National Forest
  • Yellowwood, American

    Cladrastis kentukea

    American yellowwood facts [pdf, 116KB]
    Champion Tree Specs
    Jefferson/Cave Hill Cemetery