NACOGDOCHES, Texas - Stephen F. Austin State University's Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture in partnership with Nacogdoches Parks and Recreation will host NacogdoTREES, a free, community-wide competition celebrating the natural beauty of the city and campus, through Sunday, Nov. 1.

"The goal of the NacogdoTREES competition is to highlight the importance of urban and community trees, raise awareness of their ecological benefits, introduce the community to the field of forestry and encourage citizens to spend time outdoors," said Sarah Fuller, outreach coordinator for SFA's Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture.

Individual competition categories include: largest tree circumference, largest crown, tallest tree, best shade tree and best tree overall. Competition rules and regulations require participants to obtain accurate measurements such as tree height and crown spread. Faculty members within the college developed videos, which are available on the competition's Web page, that guide participants through the process of gathering basic forestry measurements.

"Keep in mind that it's not just all about numbers and measurements," said Dr. Shelby Laird, assistant professor of forestry at SFA. "The best overall tree may be the tree with the best story, the most fans or just simply the most beautiful. We really hope that NacogdoTREES will encourage people to get out to some of our amazing city parks and recreation areas on campus."

The competition also will serve as a learning opportunity for beginning forestry students at SFA. Students enrolled in Laird's careers and competencies in forestry course will execute technical measurements needed to determine the winners of those categories.

Laird said she also hopes the competition will provide insight into what specifically endears individuals to certain trees, as well as provide baseline data for future research.

Trees eligible for submission must be located on the SFA campus or on properties managed by Nacogdoches Parks and Recreation. For competition guidelines and entry form, a list of prizes, as well as area maps and resources, visit