Historic Trees

American Forests is asking the public to nominate favorite trees for a place on America’s Historic Tree Register.

An oak, said to be more than 1,000 years old.

An oak, said to be more than 1,000 years old.

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Washington, D.C. – American Forests is asking the public to go online and nominate their favorite trees for a place on America’s Historic Tree Register. This newly created register will showcase historically and culturally significant trees, in addition to spotlighting trees that have played notable roles in an individual’s life, such as one planted by an ancestor or those climbed as a child.

Trees can be nominated on the group's website and can be entered into one of five categories:

Historic trees – trees associated with a historic or cultural event.

Famous people  trees associated with historical, cultural, literary, or artistic figures.

Places – trees associated with historic locations and famous attractions.

Age – trees that are remarkably old.

Unique – trees that are unusual in size, shape, or growing range, have survived through difficult circumstances, or are significant in folklore.

The nominated tree will be published in the register if its description qualifies for one of the five categories and has supporting documents. If a nominated tree does not qualify for the category, or cannot be authenticated, then it will be listed as a Personal Tree. This separate category is a part of the Historic Tree Program, but not of the official register. It will include any tree that has a significant meaning to an individual, providing a forum for anyone to share the story of their special tree.

Trees selected for the register may also be propagated, and the seedlings sold by American Forests’ Historic Tree Program, so that anyone can share these living pieces of history. The Historic Tree Program’s nursery brings history alive by providing the offspring of trees connected to famous people, events, and places. America’s Historic Tree Register is a project steeped in American Forests’ history.

The first reference to historic trees was featured in American Forests’ magazine back in 1917, where the organization has since requested and received historic tree nominations for honorable mention. The complete register will be published this fall.

If there is a distinctive tree in your state, region, town or backyard, you are invited to submit it to America’s Historic Tree Register, and share your tree’s story with the world.

American Forests’ mission is to grow a healthier world by working with communities to restore and maintain forest ecosystems. Their work includes planting trees, calculating the value of urban forests, fostering environmental education, and improving public policy for trees at the national level. The organization has a goal of 100 million trees planted by the year 2020. American Forests magazine has been reporting forest and conservation news for 115 years. For more on American Forests, visit the website.