A new list of America's biggest trees is out, and one might be growing near you. Virginia ranks fourth in the U.S. for having the most large tree species. And several of those trees can be found within a short drive from Roanoke.
Walk around the campus of Roanoke College, one tree towers over all the rest. Measuring a whopping 107 feet tall, the Rock Elm between the Library and the Alumni House ranks at the top of the National Register for Big Trees.
Virginia is home to 76 of the over 700 species of big trees. Bob Boeren with the Department of Forestry helps make the measurements official. His recent call was a large Honeylocust in front of Fincastle's United Methodist Church.
"You can't even reach around it. It's about 19 feet in circumference. You have to get away from the tree in order to see it. It's as tall as a ten-story building," said Boeren.
Inside the church, old photographs capture a much less impressive tree in the early 1900s.
"It was probably planted as a landscape tree over 200 years ago, when the church was a log structure," said Boeren.
If you think you have a tree that might be the biggest around, submit it to the Virginia and Federal Registry using the links below.