Champion Tree Program

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Community Tree Awareness Program / Nomination Process

Smyrna Champion Tree Program / Get to know your trees Smyrna!

The Smyrna Tree Board is offering a Champion Tree Program to expand interest and involve you in creating and promoting the urban tree canopy that characterizes our city. By honoring iconic tree specimens, the program hopes to draw attention to the importance of conservation of trees as well as the benefits trees provide to the environment and to the character of cities.

  • Using guidelines set forth by the Georgia Forestry Commission, who administers the State Champion Tree program, volunteers with the Smyrna Tree Board accepts nominations, measures nominated trees, manages data and promotes the program and the champion trees that are discovered as part of it.

A Smyrna champion tree is defined as the largest known tree in Smyrna of a particular species. Winning champion tree status carries no legal implications or protections. Sample of Champion Trees

How it Works:

In accordance with the State of Georgia Champion Tree Program, for a tree to be considered it must meet all of the following criteria:

  • The tree must have an erect woody perennial stem, or trunk, at least 9.5 inches in circumference measured 4.5 feet from the ground, with a definitely formed crown of foliage, and be at least 13 feet in total height.
  • To be eligible for the Smyrna Champion Tree Program, a species must be recognized as native or naturalized in the continental United States. Any naturalized tree species considered invasive will not be considered. For reference, exotic species are listed on the Georgia Exotic Pest Plant Council website (http://www.gaeppc.org/). Native species are listed on the University of Georgia’s Warnell School of Forestry website (http://www.forestry.uga.edu/).

Nomination Process:
Fill out the Nomination Form

  • The form includes tree species, owner name, owner contact information, nominator name, nominator contact information, estimated measurements and exact location of tree with any pertinent details such as history, current state of the tree etc.

If location of the tree is not on the property owned by the nominator, permission must be granted by the property owner. If you wish to nominate a tree that and it is not on your property, please contact the Smyrna Tree Board representative (katesconner@gmail.com).

A certified arborist will measure the nominated tree. If selected as a Smyrna Champion Tree, owner must grant full permission for organizers to use photographs of the winning tree for promotion of the Smyrna Champion Tree Program.

Measurement Process:
A volunteer arborist will measure the nominated tree using the guidelines set forth by the Georgia Forestry Commission. These measurements include:

  • Tree circumference by inches at 4.5 feet above ground level
  • Tree height measured by feet
  •  Average crown spread measured in feet

These certified measurements will be entered into the standard Champion Tree calculator (http://www.gfc.state.ga.us/forest-management/champion-tree-program/how-to-measure-a-tree/index.cfm) to determine the tree score. A tree that scores within 5% of a champion will be recognized as a Smyrna Co-Champion.

Promotion and Recognition:
Smyrna Champion Trees will be recognized on the Smyrna Tree Board pages of the City of Smyrna website, the Tree Board Facebook page as well as at the Smyrna Tree Board’s booth at educational events and festivals. Nominations will be accepted throughout the year and will be announced at the spring and fall Jonquil Festivals.