Several tree owners will soon receive certificates and a permanent tree marker to commemorate their 'top timbers'.
Sixty-four nominations were submitted from all corners of the state for the Champion Trees 2009 program and 24 of those submissions were verified as champs.
So how do you tell a champ tree from a plain pine tree? The designation is made based on three components: circumference, height and crown spread. For a tree to be eligible it must also be a species native or naturalized to Alabama.
The whole purpose of the program is to discover, recognize and preserve the largest of each tree species in Alabama. Fifteen of this year's winners filled open spaces in tree types that didn't have a champion. The other nine eclipsed 2008 champions as the biggest in their species.
Anyone can nominate a tree for the program, but it's up to an AFC forester to collect the different measurements.
Here's a list of this year's winner: