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.

AWARD CATEGORIES:

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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