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Big Tree Registry

Ocean County has launched a Big Tree Registry, a compilation of the largest native and naturalized tree species in the county. These trees, nominated by Ocean County residents will have environmental and historical value and should be conserved for future generations.
View Ocean County Champion Trees

Ocean County has been part of the New Jersey Forest Service (NJFS) who oversees the state Big Tree Conservation Program and keeps a record of the largest trees in the state since the 1930s.
View NJ Big Tree Map and Registry

Benefits of big trees include the following:

• Remove tons of pollution from our air annually
• Trees combat climate change by removing CO2
• Lower electric costs up to 50% via shading
• Prevent water runoff, erosion, and water pollution
• Prevent flooding
• Roots filter ground water by absorbing nutrients and toxins
• Provide wildlife habitat
• Provide wood and high-quality forest products
• Big Trees unify communities and organizations
• Can increase property values by as much as 15%
• Slow water evaporation via shade saving water
• Create visually pleasing barriers
• Natural sound barriers
• Increase traffic to businesses

There are many benefits of conserving these trees. The Ocean County Parks and Recreation Department takes great pride in educating the public on the proper conservation and maintenance of our big trees to help ensure that they will survive for many years to come.

If you know of a big tree that you want to nominate or have a possible challenger to the current champion, please use the forms linked below:
OC Big Tree Nomination Form
Right to Access Form

For more information call (732) 506-9090 x5941 or email bigtreelist@co.ocean.nj.us

The New Jersey Forest Service Community Forestry Program uses the following formula to determine the potential Big Tree Champions:
• Total Points
• Circumference of trunk (in inches)
• + tree height (in feet)
• + 1/4 average crown spread (in feet)
• = total points

How to Measure a Trees Circumference

Measure the circumference of the tree at 4 1/2 feet off the ground in inches, or if the tree sits on a slope, 4 1/2 feet from the uphill side. If the tree has a branch or abnormal swelling at 4 1/2 feet, take the measurement where the trunk returns to normal size. If you measure below 4 1/2 feet, make sure to include the actual height where the measurement was taken.
For example: 182"circumference at 3 feet.

How to Measure a Trees Height

There are many ways to measure the height of a tree. You can purchase a clinometer, which will mechanically do the math for you or you can use the stick method that is described below:

  1. Hold the stick or ruler at its base vertically, making certain that the length of the stick above your hand equals the distance from your hand to your eye

  2. Move away from the tree while sighting the trunk base above your hand while staying on ground level (or on the same contour as the base of the tree)

  3. Stop when the top of the stick is level with the top of the tree

  4. You should be looking over your hand at the base of the tree and, moving only your eyes, looking over the top of your stick at the top of your tree

  5. Measure how far you are from the tree and that measurement - in feet - is the tree's height

How to Measure a Trees Average Crown Spread

Measure the crown at its widest and narrowest widths. Find the average crown spread: add the two measurements and divide by two.