The Big Trees of St. Joseph County celebrates the largest native trees growing within the borders of the county. Area residents are asked to nominate trees and all champion trees are verified by the naturalist staff of the sponsoring agencies. Nominations are solicited every 5 years, to coincide with the State Big Trees nominations. Nominations are due in September.
Who Are the Sponsoring Agencies of the Big Trees Program?
The agencies involved in the Big Trees program include the St. Joseph County Parks, the St. Joseph County Cooperative Extension Service, The University of Notre Dame Biological Services, Rum Village Nature center and St. Joseph County Soil and Water Conservation District.
Paw Paw Champion - Potato Creek State Park - smallest tree in 2020 register
Silver Maple Champion - second biggest tree in 2020 register
Sycamore Champion - University of Notre Dame - third biggest tree in 2020 register
Eastern Cottonwood Champion- biggest tree in 2020 register
How Do We Determine Champions?
A point index is calculated for each tree using the following formula; the circumference in inches, plus the height in feet, plus 1/4 of the average crown spread. The tree with the highest index is champion.
The Big Tree Program is the winner of the 2002 Daniel Flaherty Park Excellence in Programming Award.