KC METRO CHAMPION TREES
Stronger communities through healthy trees.
We need your help to locate, record and preserve these important trees in Kansas City! Anyone is welcome to nominate a champion tree. Nominations will be verified by a Heartland Tree Alliance arborist or volunteer. Nominations are evaluated using the calculation established by American Forests National Register of Champion Trees: Circumference + Height + (Crown Spread/4) = Total Points. The tree must be located within Jackson, Clay, Platte, Wyandotte, Johnson, or Northwest Cass county.
To assign a point value to a tree to determine if it is a “champion tree”, three measurements are required: circumference, height and crown spread. At minimum, we require that you measure and submit the circumference. We will visit the tree to verify measurements and collect missing data.
Circumference is the distance around the trunk of the tree in inches. It is measured at 4½ feet above the ground. If the tree is on a slope, measure on the uphill side and on the downhill side, then average the two numbers. If the tree splits below 4½ feet, the largest stem is measured at 4½ feet. If a tree forks at or slightly above 4½ feet, the circumference is measured below the fork where the circumference is the least.
Height is measured, or estimated, in feet, from the base of the trunk to the highest branch. Laser range finders or clinometers are usually used for this. It can be estimated with a log scale stick, regular yard stick or with a free app on your phone.
Crown spread is the distance, in feet, from the end of the branches on one side of the tree, through the trunk, to the ends of the branches on the opposite side. A second measurement is made at a right angle to the first measurement and the two measurements are averaged.
For more instruction, watch this video “What is a Champion Tree?” that our friend Brad created for MU Extension master gardeners.