Department of Environmental Protection

New Jersey Forest Service

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Heritage Tree Conservation and Education

The heritage tree portion of the big and heritage tree program showcases heritage trees throughout the state of New Jersey.  Individuals may submit their heritage tree nominations to the New Jersey Forest Service’s (NJFS) Big Tree Coordinator for initial review.  Final review will be done by the NJ Big and Heritage Tree Group.

A tree must meet the following criteria to be considered a heritage tree:

  • It must be in New Jersey
  • It must have a unique and easily identifiable name
  • A detailed factual historic narrative 
  • Supporting documents
  • Heritage trees and will be reviewed by the NJFS Big Tree Coordinator, NJFS Management, and the Big Tree Group
  • Any tree qualifies as a potential heritage tree, but its story must be found to be true and accurate.
  • The progeny of established heritage trees already on the official big and heritage tree registry automatically qualify as heritage trees and the story passes from the parent tree to them.
  • No invasive tree species will be classified as heritage trees.
  • Heritage trees cannot be dead or dying or overtaken by diseases or pests.
  • Hazard trees cannot be heritage trees or trees that pose distinct threats to people or property.
  • The heritage tree owner must provide all pertinent permissions for their tree by completing a Right of Access (ROA) Agreement.

After final review the heritage tree nominator and owner are notified and informed that their tree is approved or that their tree application needs revisions.  If approved, the tree will be classified on the official New Jersey Big and Heritage Tree Registry and the tree owner provided with a heritage tree certificate.

If you think you have a heritage tree, please nominate it and complete an ROA and submit to NJFS Big Tree Coordinator Joseph C. Bennett at

For more information on the NJ Big Conservation Program, please visit