The South Carolina Champion Tree Program was started to locate the biggest trees by species across South Carolina. A standard measurement formula is used to calculate a total score for a nominated tree. The formula is based off of trunk circumference, tree height, and average crown spread. The program is currently being managed by Clemson Extension and we are working on revamping the website and updating the database.
Maintaining the database across the entire state can be a chore, and with no supportive funding, requires volunteers and the general public to provide data. A tree can be nominated by any individual. Once nominated, a rough estimate of the score is calculated. If that tree receives a score close or above the current champion, we then verify the tree. Verifying the tree requires a person with knowledge and the tools to go out and make sure the tree was measured accurately. Once verified, the tree will then be posted on our champion tree website. If you believe that you may have the biggest tree in the state visit our champion tree homepage and nominate your tree.
One misconception people have about the Champion Tree Program is the thought that it will protect the trees on the list. A champion tree does not provide protection from being cut, developed around, or so forth. South Carolina Champion Trees just provides the data so people can see the large trees we have throughout our state. Since some of these trees are located on private property, we also do not give out the exact location of the tree, just the county.
As we work to improve this website and update the database, we ask that those interested please visit the site. If you believe you have a champion, nominate that tree. More details can be found at: https://www.clemson.edu/cafls/champtree/index.html
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