The Arizona Register of Big Trees

Honoring and Protecting the State's Largest Trees

This website records Arizona's noblest vegetation, the state's champion trees. A "national champion" tree is the largest reported specimen of its species or variety in the United States, and is recorded by the National Register of Big Trees, a program of American Forests in Washington DC.

As of the year 2005, Arizona has 88 national champion trees. Seventy-six of these champions are native species and twelve are intorduced. Sixty-seven of these champs are growing in natural habitats while the remainder are growing under urban cultivation.

Champion trees may be found anywhere, in a deep forest high in a wilderness area or alongside a wash in an urban backyard. Many of our Arizona champions are relics of over 200 years of natural catastrophes and man-caused habitat degradation. Only a few individuals have survived and lived long enough to grow to their potential.

The register of Arizona's champion trees is published to help Arizona residents and visitors appreciate an essential part of their natural and urban landscapes. Its goal is to increase public awareness of the value of Arizona's trees and stimulate public and professional interest in identifying and preserving Arizona's large tree specimens. Locating and honoring such trees increases the understanding of our magnificent natural heritage.

Arizona has over 120 different species and varieties of native trees, ranging from the tall, slender spruces, firs and pines of our highest mountains to the shrubby palo verdes and acacias of the desert plains. Some species are unique to Arizona, like the Ajo oak and the Goodding ash. Many are limited to the southwestern deserts, while most of Arizona's high elevation trees are widespread throughout the mountains of western North America.

Arizona has nine national champions for oak species alone, and five champions for pines. Three cactus species qualify as "trees." Natural disasters continue to take their toll, as wind storms, lightning and wildfire occasionally destroy our largest trees, requiring a search for replacements.

The publication of the Year 2005 Arizona Register of Big Trees was made possible by an Urban and Community Forestry Challenge Grant from the Arizona State Land Department. A hard copy is available from:

The Arizona Register of Big Trees
PO Box 1061
Patagonia, Arizona 85624

Booklet design and production by Ironwood Press, Tucson, Arizona.

Arizona's National Champions

ASU Arboretum's new website

Bob Zahner, Coordinator
Arizona Register of Big Trees
(520) 578-4639

Bill Cannon, Coordinator National Register of Big Trees American Forests (800) 323-1560

Web page based on original design by Jodi Naimo.