The New Jersey Forest Service has been overseeing the Big Tree Program and keeping a record of the largest trees in the state since the 1950s. As part of the program, the Forest Service maintains the Big Tree List, a compilation of the largest native and naturalized tree species in the state. These trees have been nominated by NJ residents and have environmental and historical value and should be preserved for future generations.
These big trees produce many environmental benefits for New Jersey residents. They release oxygen into the atmosphere with their huge canopy of leaves. They ease storm water runoff with their massive root systems that absorb rainwater and hold the soil around them together. They lower air temperature around them up to 12 degrees by creating shade and by releasing water vapor from their leaves into the air. They absorb tons of pollution annually creating a healthier environment for us to live in. And the list of benefits goes on.
Some of New Jersey’s big trees also have historic value, and have been around for hundreds of years, witnessing many state and local historical events. These older trees scattered around the state are an important part of New Jersey’s natural heritage and occupy all of the unique geographic regions found in the state. We as humans can use these big trees to tell stories of the past or preserve the memories we are making today for our children.
The benefits of preserving these trees are countless. With hopes that someday there may be some form of protection or a conservation program for them, we need to take the necessary steps to preserve them today. If you know of a big tree that you want to nominate or have a possible challenger to the current champion, please send your nomination to:
Happy Big Tree Hunting!
Division of Parks and Forestry
Community Forestry Program
501 East State Street
Mail Code 501-4
PO Box 420
Trenton, NJ 08625
Fax # 609-984-0378