The Texas Tree Trails organization is a cooperative effort
between the Texas Forest Service, the Texas Historic Tree Coalition, the Trinity Blacklands Urban Forestry Council and the
Cross Timbers Urban Forestry Council, among others.
mission of the Texas Tree Trails program is to find, locate,
recognize, measure, photograph and gather data on all
significant trees in or near the DFW area. Our aim is to educate
the public by showcasing the importance of these botanical,
historical and cultural treasures and to preserve their presence
for future generations. We plan to accomplish this by presenting
this data on a web site with "virtual tours", promotions and publications of various types plus development
of various "tree trails" within the program region.
The program adequately addresses a plan for "tree health
care" by offering the option of "adoption" by potential
sponsors to provide for the current and future health and
structural integrity of significant trees. Once the program
is developed, we plan to expand its boundaries by encouraging
participation from all cities within the state. As an
educational group, we hope to instill in the public a sense
of pride and ownership in our region's natural treasures by
building a steadily growing, knowledgeable and informed
grassroots force dedicated to preserve and protect our
A Brief History
The Texas Tree Trails programs was conceived and developed
by active members of the Texas Historic Tree Coalition (TXHTC) [editors
note: then called the DHTC]. The
Texas Tree Trails concept was born to address issues of
unchecked tree removal and flagrant code violation in the fast
and furious business and private home
development throughout the Metroplex. The bulldozer is no
respecter of trees. We have documentation showing that a National
Champion Little Walnut was uprooted and bulldozed under; not
for construction purposes, but as a convenience purely from
ignorance for what it was. Other documented Regional Champions
have been lost to the developer's blade, but then again others have
been saved - but at a price.
A few of the TXHTC founders, the watch-dogs of our champion
and historic trees, have faithfully given of their time and
service over the past years to empower a volunteer force to
assist them with this effort.
The Texas Historic Tree Coalition began by
raising money and laying the ground work for Historic Tree
Trails within the Dallas Fort Worth area late in 2001. A
grassroots effort was developed to present to the public and
civic leaders our area's treasures in such a manner that
shows their vulnerability, their worth, and their value as
ecological and "eco-tourism" assets to our community. The
National Park Service began to show an interest as did the
Texas Forest Service.
The Trinity Blacklands Urban Forestry Council (TBUFC)
joined forces with a membership expertise as arborists,
taxonomists and plant
pathologists and with an additional volunteer base. The Texas
Forest Service came on board as well. With TBUFC and the Texas
Forest Service became involved and added dimensions of
distinction and recognition to the project, sharing the
stewardship of there Big Tree Registry program as well as
supporting the combined groups with a TFS grant. This
association is believed to be the first time that local
citizen action groups, local scientific subject matter experts
and a state agency have come together in a program to solve
common problems in Texas.
In the Fall of 2003 we began measuring and cataloging trees
as Texas Tree Trails.
In 2005-2006 Cross Timbers Urban Forestry Council came
on-line with a large, aggressive workforce. They have made a
significant impact on Texas Tree Trails and greatly enhance our
future and the future of North Texas trees with the rapt
engagement they apply to council tasks. The region is large and
comprises the Western portion of North Central Texas. The CTUFC region is in the TFS supervisory
range of State Forester Courtney Blevins, a hard working member
of Texas Tree Trails. To contact Courtney, See our
Contacts page. Courtney and Doug
Pierson with a handful of volunteers have been keeping this
thing going through hell and low water and are now ready to
chart the course to Infinity and Beyond!
Updated March 2015
Texas Tree Trails PowerPoint Slide Show
Everything Is Bigger in Texas (Large
file 18.8 Mb)
The following are the results of a brainstorming session
where many potential and real benefits and results of the
Texas Tree Trails program, for individuals and for the region,
were discussed. They are not in any particular order.
Recognizes and promotes "our area's treasures".
Gathers important information on "our area's treasures"
relating to our history and individual tree characteristics
that grow in our area. (A history or tree enthusiasts dream!)
Encourages diversity in "our area's treasures" (and
forests), by educating the public about many overlooked plant
materials, which are suitable to the area, but in which little
information presently exists. By expanding our knowledge, we
encourage a diversity of tree species within our forest cover,
which is critical to the condition and health of our forest
cover. By encouraging species diversity, we also encourage
diversity in wildlife habitat.
Encourages the proper care and maintenance of "our area's
treasures" through the "Adopt-a-Tree" program.
Allows public accessibility to "our area's treasures"
through a web site and "virtual tours".
Allows for classifying and mapping "our area's treasures"
and integrating them into a tree trail system.
Allows the public to view "our area's treasures" by computer
for trees without accessibility or where permission to enter a
property may be required (or denied).
Encourages widespread support for "our area's treasures" due
to the limited available controversy involved.
Encourages the participation of a wide variety of groups
and individuals who have an interest in "our area's treasures".
For example, the Audubon Society may wish to have a tree trail
relating to birds, historians would have the "historic tree
trail", or wildlife interests may have a tree trail relating
to a species of wildlife, etc.
Encourages eco-tourism by recognizing, documenting, and
promoting "our area's treasures". Think how nice it would be to
visit another city and be able to visit a historic, champion,
or other significant trees. We can't promote them if we don't
recognize and document their existence.
Encourages the preservation of "our area's treasures".
This may help reduce further loss of these assets.
Encourages others around the state (and beyond) to
duplicate our efforts and recognize "their area's treasures".
May result in the publication of materials related to "our
area's treasures" or ”state-wide treasures”.
Signifies the public's awareness of "our area's treasures".
Encourages the education of the many benefits of trees
that are associated with "our area's treasures".
Could be a tax deduction for time and monetary donations
toward "our area's treasures", if structured accordingly. Also,
could be counted as volunteer hours for many local
organizations such as Master Naturalist, Master Gardeners,
etc. (TBUFC and TXHTC are both 503c organizations.)