The Virginia Big Tree Program began as a 4-H and FFA project in 1970. Today citizens of all ages participate by nominating and re-measuring trees. (Trees need to be re-measured every 10 years in order to remain in the database.) We attempt to list the top five largest trees for each species. Other nominated trees are kept on file for future use. The program is coordinated by Dr. Jeff Kirwan in the Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation at Virginia Tech.
The goal of the Virginia big tree program is to increase the care and appreciation for trees. Trees are ranked by total points based on a formula using circumference at 4.5 feet, height and crown spread. The top five trees for each species are listed in the database. Volunteers are encouraged to search for, nominate and update current trees every 10 years.