Trees are amazing and beautiful. But they can also be a little bit spooky, especially at this time of year when the trees’ skeletal branches creak in the wind. The other neat thing about trees is that they can grow REALLY big! Way back in 2011 Waterloo Region Nature held a contest to find the largest tree in the region. Unfortunately, that tree has since died. So, its time to find a new champion!

Trees enrich our lives and deserve to be celebrated. They create habitats that shelter a wide variety of living things. They moderate our climate and provide us with shade on hot days. They improve air quality, absorb carbon dioxide and help us conserve energy. They are beautiful and contribute to our well-being. Unfortunately, they cannot advocate for themselves and are easy to take for granted. By taking the time to examine our remnant, ancient, monster trees we have an opportunity to connect with the our local history and protect a piece of our natural heritage.

Help us find the venerable elder trees that live among us!


  1. Find a big tree anywhere in Waterloo Region. You may make as many observations as you wish between 8:00 am on October 1st, and 4:00 pm on October 29th. 
  2. You will earn a certificate of appreciation for your participation.
  3. Note the date and location for your observations. You can describe the location to the nearest road intersection, share GPS coordinates, or decide to keep your location private.   
  4. Identify the type of tree (use our tree leaf guide for assistance). 
  5. Measure the tree’s circumference at about 1 meter from the ground.
  6. Optional: Take a picture of your tree. Hold a ruler, or metre stick, or standard 8.5 x 11 piece of paper (letter size) against the trunk for scale.
  7. Enter your observations ONLINE or complete the attached paper form and share it with us. Submit a new observation for each new tree.
  8. When submitting your observations, you will be submitting using a Google form and you will have to sign in using an email address. We will send your certificate to this email address, so please enter it carefully.
  9. Please share with us your experience. Write a short description of what you did in the comments section. Did you see something you weren’t expecting? Were you surprised by anything?
  10. When you are done, click the Submit button! You should see a confirmation page that will give you the option of changing your submission if you think you made an error. You will also get an email summary of your observations.
  11. Please share a photo through social media. 
  12. If you observe another tree during the count period, submit another form!

Thank you!  Sincerely, the Outdoor and Environmental Education Team!