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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.  The current list, which is restricted to native species, has 100 species reported.  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.

Check out our story map about Kentucky's National Champions and oldest beauties.

Here are the species that still need a champion:

Buckeye, red
Dogwood, grey
Dogwood, roughleaf
Dogwood, silky
Hazelnut, American
Maple, red
Oak, nuttall
Pine, loblolly
Plum, wild
Sumac, staghorn
Viburnum, nannyberry

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