What is a Notable Tree?

We at Tree Baltimore invite you to share with us trees that are worthy to add to our Notable Tree maps! Notable trees encompass champion trees and trees submitted for #myfavorite tree.

Why are our big trees important?

We love keeping track of the biggest trees in the city, but why are they important? Well, the bigger the tree the better. Trees with larger trunks and canopies allow themselves to shelter more biodiversity by allowing species to co-exist at different elevations and areas. This is especially important in cities where wildlife can escape human exposure by settling in a big tree. The urban environment also attracts and holds a lot of heat because of dark surfaces like asphalt and human activity, but trees mitigate this with large sun-umbrella canopies. Big trees can establish large thick canopies that are more effective at blocking sunlight and keeping air cool underneath. This allows city residents to save energy on air conditioning in the summer time.

land surface temperature

The lighter colored spots show where there are higher than average temperatures, darker ones showing lower temperatures (Picture via NASA Earth Observatory).

Most benefits we all know about trees are even better when they are bigger! Larger trees recycle more carbon to clean the air, absorb more water from storm-water runoff, mitigate city noise pollution, prevent flash flooding by intercepting raindrops and block more particulate matter in the air. By documenting these large trees, we can inform citizens of their importance and manage their health.


What is your favorite tree?

Maybe your tree isn’t a champion….but it can still be our favorite! By using #myfavoritetree on social media or by submitting your tree with the #myfavoritetree form we can put it up on our map. All we ask is that the tree is on public land. If you have any questions about this, email myfavoritetree443@gmail.com and your tree can be among the city’s favorites.


Check out our map of city and state champions along with the #myfavoritetrees here!

Baltimore’s Notable and Favorite Trees StoryMap


What makes a tree a champion?

Champion trees are the biggest of their species and are quantified by using this formula from the Maryland Big Tree Program:



Champions are added and kept up to date via the Maryland Big Tree Program, where the State Champions and City/County Champions are listed by species on the Maryland Big Tree listing here.The Maryland Big Tree Program is associated with the Department of Natural Resources Forest Service, which provides technical assistance when needed, but the program itself is maintained by volunteers! Some species don’t really have to be big to be champs. For instance, a Live Oak (Quercus virginiana), in Bolton Hill, with a circumference of a mere 16”, a height of only 14’ and a spread of 16’ is our city’s current champ for the species at 36 total points! (below)

The Live Oak in Bolton Hill. 36 total points.

The MD Big Tree Program is managed by John Bennett, Dori Murphy, Kathie Jarmon and the Baltimore city Forestry board but nominations can come in at any time. If you believe your tree is a champion based upon the formula, bring it to our attention by nominating it through the nominating process outlined here!