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Landowners group to give away longleaf pine seedlings

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longleaf pineNPS PhotoBy Col. Eddie Boxx,
TCFLOA President

WOODVILLE – The Tyler County Forest Landowners Association (TCFLOA) will give away longleaf pine seedlings on Saturday, Feb. 5 from 10-11:30 a.m. (or until all trees have been given away) at Heritage Village in Woodville. 

Seedlings can be picked up at the front porch of the Hamm House (the temporary timber and train museum) located across from the Pickett House restaurant. Longleaf pine trees have long been symbolic of Tyler County’s sandy ridges, and private landowners play a critical role in the ongoing efforts to bring back these once numerous trees. Until the late 1800s, towering longleaf forests once populated the East Texas landscape but were heavily harvested. With the railroad’s arrival and the golden age of timber and sawmills, the slower-growing, more storm, and fire-resistant longleaf gave way to today’s loblolly variants. Early travelers described an ecosystem different from the now-familiar and invasive yaupon and privet understory. Instead, dominant longleaf pines and frequent burnings created a spacious forest floor. When General George Custer marched through Tyler County in August 1865, his troops and his wife Libbie Custer documented the tall longleaf pines in their diaries. 

The forests were so spacious and sun-filled the former fair-skinned, dark-haired debutante arrived in Austin with frayed hair and a weather-beaten tan. Judge Bacon, Libbie’s father, never forgave Custer for taking his daughter on the East Texas expedition.

The TCFLOA thanks Parker Forestry Consultants for donating the seedlings and their continued advocacy for longleaf pine restorations efforts. TCFLOA is a non-profit organization whose objectives include educating landowners about good forest management and harvesting practices and keeping landowners up to date on matters affecting timberland operations, taxes, and legislative actions. 

The TCFLOA awards annual scholarships to area students pursuing a college education in the forest industry. 

More information and application requirements will be available on the TCFLOA website: https://tcforest.org/events.htm.

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