Ocean County’s Big Tree Conservation & Registry
Ocean County has launched a Big Tree Registry, a compilation of the largest native and naturalized tree species in the county. These trees, nominated by Ocean County residents will have environmental and historical value and should be conserved for future generations.
LINK: Ocean County Big Tree List
Ocean County has been part of the New Jersey Forest Service (NJFS) who oversees the state Big Tree Conservation Program and keeps a record of the largest trees in the state since the 1930s.
LINK: New Jersey Big Tree List
Benefits of big trees include the following:
Remove tons of pollution from our air annually
Trees combat climate change by removing CO2
Lower electric costs up to 50% via shading
Prevent water runoff, erosion, and water pollution
Roots filter ground water by absorbing nutrients and toxins
Provide wildlife habitat
Provide wood and high-quality forest products
Big Trees unify communities and organizations
Can increase property values by as much as 15%
Slow water evaporation via shade saving water
Create visually pleasing barriers
Natural sound barriers
Increase traffic to businesses
There are many benefits of conserving these trees. The Ocean County Parks and Recreation Department takes great pride in educating the public on the proper conservation and maintenance of our big trees to help ensure that they will survive for many years to come.
If you know of a big tree that you want to nominate or have a possible challenger to the current champion, please use the forms linked below:
Link to Nomination Form: OC Big Tree Nomination Form
Link to Access Form: Right to Access Form
For more information:
(732) 506-9090 x5941
The New Jersey Forest Service Community Forestry Program uses the following formula to determine the potential Big Tree Champions:
Circumference of trunk (in inches)
+ tree height (in feet)
+ 1/4 average crown spread (in feet)
= total points.
How to Measure a Trees Circumference
Measure the circumference of the tree at 4 1/2 feet off the ground in inches, or if the tree sits on a slope, 4 1/2 feet from the uphill side. If the tree has a branch or abnormal swelling at 4 1/2 feet, take the measurement where the trunk returns to normal size. If you measure below 4 1/2 feet, make sure to include the actual height where the measurement was taken.
For example: 182"circumference at 3 feet.
How to Measure a Trees Height
There are many ways to measure the height of a tree. You can purchase a clinometer, which will mechanically do the math for you or you can use the stick method that is described below.
1. Hold the stick or ruler at its base vertically, making certain that the length of the stick above your hand equals the distance from your hand to your eye.
2. Move away from the tree while sighting the trunk base above your hand while staying on ground level (or on the same contour as the base of the tree).
3. Stop when the top of the stick is level with the top of the tree.
4. You should be looking over your hand at the base of the tree and, moving only your eyes, looking over the top of your stick at the top of your tree.
5. Measure how far you are from the tree and that measurement - in feet - is the tree's height.
How to Measure a Trees Average Crown Spread
Measure the crown at its widest and narrowest widths. Find the average crown spread: add the two measurements and divide by two.