US

Forget roses and birds. These folks like their big trees

  • In this March 24, 2017 photo, Kevin Martin, state coordinator for New Hampshire's Big Tree Program, measures the circumference of a European Beech tree in Portsmouth, N.H. The program encourages residents to search their city's streets, backyards and woods for the state's largest trees. (AP Photo/Michael Casey)

    In this March 24, 2017 photo, Kevin Martin, state coordinator for New Hampshire's Big Tree Program, measures the circumference of a European Beech tree in Portsmouth, N.H. The program encourages residents to search their city's streets, backyards and woods for the state's largest trees. (AP Photo/Michael Casey)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this March 24, 2017 photo, Kevin Martin, state coordinator for New Hampshire's Big Tree Program, is dwarfed by the giant a European Beech tree he is measuring in Portsmouth, N.H. The program encourages residents to search their city's streets, backyards and woods for the state's largest trees. (AP Photo/Michael Casey)

    In this March 24, 2017 photo, Kevin Martin, state coordinator for New Hampshire's Big Tree Program, is dwarfed by the giant a European Beech tree he is measuring in Portsmouth, N.H. The program encourages residents to search their city's streets, backyards and woods for the state's largest trees. (AP Photo/Michael Casey)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this March 24, 2017 photo, a horse chestnut tree that dates back to 1776 towers over the historic Moffatt-Ladd house in Portsmouth, N.H. A new state program encourages residents to search their city's streets, backyards and woods for the state's largest trees. (AP Photo/Michael Casey)

    In this March 24, 2017 photo, a horse chestnut tree that dates back to 1776 towers over the historic Moffatt-Ladd house in Portsmouth, N.H. A new state program encourages residents to search their city's streets, backyards and woods for the state's largest trees. (AP Photo/Michael Casey)  (The Associated Press)

A program in New Hampshire is working to protect the state's vast forests, one tree at a time.

Known as the New Hampshire Big Tree Program, it encourages residents to search the city's streets, backyards and woods for the state's largest trees. Then, a team of volunteers goes out to measure a tree's circumference, height and crown to determine if they are county or state champs — or just leafy pretenders.

More than 700 champions so far have been identified, including 10 that are the biggest in the country. The hope is that by searching for champions, residents will be motivated to protect forests from threats like development and forest pests.