Council Board Member Joe Charap measuring the national champion Franklin tree (Franklinia alatamaha), located in Green-Wood Cemetery. Photo by Erik Danielsen

The 2018 American Forests Champion Trees national register has 783 national champions and co-champions, including 165 newly crowned specimens. Of the 783, 22 champions reside in New York State and include the national champion Franklin tree (Franklinia alatamaha) in Brooklyn, white ash (Fraxinus americana) in Rockland, American hornbeam (Carpinus caroliniana) in Marlboro, butternut (Juglans cinerea) in New Hartford, dwarf chinkapin oak (Quercus prinoides) in Monroe County, red hickory (Carya ovalis) in Annandale-on-Hudson, and black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia) in Livingston.

Franklin tree flower. Photo by Michelle Sutton

Council Board Member Joseph Charap was the person who recently nominated the Franklin tree champion. Charap is the Director of Horticulture at The Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, where he found this unusual species at a striking size. “We’re thrilled to have this unique National Champion at Green-Wood, a National Historic Landmark and accredited Level III arboretum, and we look forward to sharing the Franklin tree with our visitors,” he says.  

The American Forests Champion Trees national register has basic and advanced search features that allow you to search by species, measurements, location and total points.

There are still hundreds of species without a champion. You just need a measuring tape and a ruler to get started — nominate your tree!