Ministry of Sustainable Resource Management Government of British Columbia Ministry of Sustainable Resource Management B.C. Conservation Data Centre
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Big Trees of British Columbia

Photos needed! (Model Release form)
How to nominate a Big Tree
How a Big Tree is determined
        Step 1. Calculating Tree Measurements In The Field
      Step 2. Calculating Points
Big Tree nomination form
Links to other Big Tree website

British Columbia Register of Big Trees


After several years without a home, the British Columbia Register of Big Trees is now housed at the BC Conservation Data Centre in Victoria. Modelled after the American Forestry Association’s Social Register of Big Trees, the registry records the biggest individuals for each of BC’s native tree species.

The registry was established In 1986 by the B.C. Forestry Association. Big trees were nominated by people who submitted information forms, photos and maps. The man who initiated the register, and who located more record trees than anyone else, was Randy Stoltmann. Randy published many of the registry records in his book Guide to the Record Trees of British Columbia (Stoltmann 1993).

The Register is no longer maintained by the B.C. Forestry Association (now Forest Education B.C.), and the files (containing maps and photographs) are missing. For the last 5 years, people have been unable to nominate record trees.

Randy Stoltmann died in a tragic ski-mountaineering accident in May of 1994. Shortly before his death, Randy copied most of the registry records into a report for the B.C. Conservation Data Centre (CDC). With these records as a nucleus, the CDC has offered to become the new custodian of the British Columbia Register of Big Trees.

PHOTOS NEEDED             Top of Page

Unfortunately, the CDC record tree files lack the original photographs. These must be replaced. If you have photographs of any of British Columbia’s record trees, please contact the CDC (250-356-0928). If any people appear in your photo, please have them sign a Model Release prior to submitting your photo. Otherwise your photograph cannot be displayed on our website or in publications. To view or print the release, click here. Be sure to view the release in "Page Layout View" or information in the header will not be visible. To download as a Word 6 document (113kB), right click here, and choose the "Save" option.

HOW TO NOMINATE A ‘BIG TREE’:             Top of Page

The CDC would like to record the 10 biggest trees of each species. People who want to update information on registered trees, or nominate new ones, must use the Big Tree Nomination Form and submit to the BC Conservation Data Centre.

In order to complete the application form you will need to recruit a B.C. Registered Professional Forester, Registered Professional Biologist, Forestry Technician or Registered Land Surveyor to ‘officially’ measure the nominee. These individuals can usually be found by contacting the local offices for: (a) Timber industry; (b) Ministry of Forests; (c) Ministry of Environment Lands and Parks; (e) universities or colleges.

If you need further help in locating someone to measure your tree, contact the Association of B.C. Professional Foresters at (604) 687-8027.

HOW A ‘BIG TREE’ IS DETERMINED:             Top of Page

Step 1. Calculating Tree Measurements In The Field

The following measurements are taken:

a) Height ( Diagram 1): Total height of tree as shown on diagram. In the case of a broken top, the height to this point is also of interest. For the large coniferous trees, height to first branch is of interest. Measurement is by clinometer, Abney level or other suitable sighting instrument with measurements from several different points ensuring accuracy for the taller trees.

b) Circumference (Diagram 2): Circumference is measured at breast height (B.H.) 1.37 m above ground level. The diagram shows measurement locations in the case of slope. If a low branch, fork in trunk or burl makes this location unsuitable, measure at most suitable point above or below the obstruction. Give measurement location if not at breast height.

c) Crown Spread (Diagram 3): This is the average crown diameter (the distance across the branches). Measure the widest and narrowest points and divide by two to obtain the average.

treediag.gif (11278 bytes)

Step 2. Calculating Points

a) Using Imperial measurements:

Height - 1 point per foot
Circumference - 1 point per inch
Crown Spread - 1 point per four feet

b) Using metric measurements:

Height - 3.2808 points per metre
Circumference - 0.3937 points per centimentre
Crown Spread - 0.8202 points per metre


LINKS TO OTHER BIG TREE SITES             Top of Page

The National Register of Big Trees (USA)

Michigan's Big Tree Coordinator

Virginia Big Tree Program

The Champion Tree Project

Oregon Register of Big Trees

Record Trees in Olymic National Park

Big Trees on Saltspring Island

OLDLIST: A Database of Maximum Tree Ages


Nomination Form  ~  Register of Big Trees ~ Top of Page

Last revised 2000 05 10
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