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Grand Trees of Chatham Awards Program

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Tell Us About Your Favorite Tree!

Grand Trees uses a public nomination process to identify, recognize, and document the "Grand Trees of Chatham."  All nominated trees are evaluated by a jury of tree professionals using a standard system established by state and national champion programs. Owners retain all legal rights to their tree and evaluations are done only with owner approval.


Eligible species include those trees that are native or naturalized to North Carolina.  They must be of a species, sub-species, or cultivar proven to be relatively long-lived and adapted to our region. 

Trees may be nominated in one of four categories:

  • Champion: Trees nominated for Champion status are evaluated for size relative to their species using an equation and point system established by state and national champion tree programs.
    [vertical height + trunk circumference (at 4.5 ft. above ground) + 1/4 avg. crown spread] = Tree Point Total

    A champion must equal or exceed 75% of the current state champion.

    For instructions on how to measure a champion tree click here.

  • Historic:  Nominees must be at least 50 years old to qualify. The trees must be verifiably associated with some significant historical event or location.

  • Landmark:  Emphasis is on unique natural groupings or communities rather than on individual trees. For example, a mature stand of maples or white pines may qualify for this category.  

  • Meritorious:  This category accommodates special trees in a variety of situations. Trees in this category may be future Champion, Historic, or Landmark Trees. Other examples include:
    • Recently planted trees tied to a special place or event
    • Plantings that illustrate exemplary selection of species, taxa, or cultivar suited to the site, proper planting techniques, or good maintenance practice 
    • Outstanding trees with exceptional shape, color or form
    • Developer saved trees of excellent quality
    • Special trees that have particular significance to our community.
AWARD SELECTIONS:  Final selection for an award is determined by the Grand Trees of Chatham board based on a specific rating system and criteria guidelines as well as recommendations of the jurors. The board may elect to shift a nomination into a more appropiate category. 

Owners of awarded trees will be notified and receive a certificate of recognition.

NOMINATIONS:  Ready to nominate your favorite tree? Click here for a nomination form.  

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