Sewanee Herbarium » Project Center » Big Trees of Sewanee

The Herbarium is teaming up with Sewanee's Tree City to undertake a project to locate the largest tree of each species on the Domain of The University of the South. By saluting these champions, we hope to focus on the importance of trees in our community.

The American Forestry Association began keeping a record of champion trees 60 years ago. Using total height, trunk diameter, and crown size as criteria, the National Register of Big Trees for the year 2000 lists a total of 826 total species of trees in the United States, of which 733 species each have a recognized national champion. That list is described at

Results to-date of Sewanee's Big Tree Hunt are tabulated in three groups: trees of the central campus and town of Sewanee; those of the natural areas of the Domain, and those located on the Cumberland Plateau in the Sewanee area.

Do you know of a potential champion - a larger tree in any of the categories or a big one of any other species on the Domain or in the vicinity? If so, contact Sandy Baird, Big Tree Hunt Coordinator, at to make a nomination. The sole criterion for championship is trunk diameter, measured 4.5 feet above ground level. The hunt continues!

Explore the big trees with the menu on your left.