by Keith Hawkins - published in June, 1990 newsletter
A recent issue of American Forests
National Register of Big Trees. This is a 50 year old program of
the American Forestry Association started after Joseph L. Sterns, a forester,
became concerned that the world war would decimate forest resources and
destroy America's "living landmarks."
Currently, there are 57 National Champion Trees in Virginia out of the
850 plus in the Register. Virginia has several noteworthy trees: a majestic
tulip-poplar in Bedford County, a formidable loblolly pine in King William
County, and the smallest National Champion, a Virginia Stewartia with a
height of 15 feet, a girth of 10 inches, and a crown spread of 24 feet.
Two of these National Champions are in Prince William County, both discovered
by Richard Salzer of Annandale. These trees are not particularly large,
but they, like the Virginia Stewartia, are the largest documented trees
of their species. One is a hazel alder (Alnus serrulata)
located near Prince William Forest Park. Its dimensions are: circumference,
16": height, 35"; crown spread, 16'. The other is a cock spur hawthorn
(Crataegus crus-galli), and you can find it near the Evergreen Country
Club. Its dimensions are: circumference, 60" height 40'; crown spread,
If you want to nominate a tree, this is the information you need to
Correct name of the species or variety
Circumference in inches at 4 1/2 feet above the ground. If a knot or branch
is at 4 1/2 feet, measure the narrowest location below 4 1/2 feet.
Total vertical height of the tree to the nearest foot.
Average crown diameter to the nearest foot. Measure both the widest and
narrowest spread of the crown, and take the average of the two measurements.
Date measured and by whom
Name and address of the owner
Clear photograph, with date
Description of the tree's physical condition and state of preservation
Name(s) and address(es) of the nominator(s).
For National Champion nominations,
send your information to the National Register of Big Trees, P O. Box 2000,
Washington, DC 20013. For Virginia Champion nominations, send your information
to the Virginia Forestry Association, 1205 E. Main., Richmond, VA 23219.
Happy big tree hunting!!
History of Prince William County
Historic Prince William