Largest Circumference and Crown Spread
The Southern red oak located on the property of Sue Ellen Law is a sight to behold. With a circumference of 19.5 feet and a crown spread of 123.9 feet, the sprawling tree easily won the categories of largest circumference and largest crown.
“My father and mother moved from South Texas to Nacogdoches in 1942 and bought this property,” Law said. “This oak tree, located on a hill in open land, has always been a focal point on the property because of its massive size and beauty.”
Law said her family members aren’t the only admirers of the tree – the cattle that roam the property also find reprieve from the summer sun under its sprawling branches.
“We recently cleared the land between our house and the tree so we could look out our back windows each day and see its majesty on the hill,” she said. “What a blessing it is.”
Of all the tall loblolly pines that adorn the campus of Stephen F. Austin State University, the one located behind the Wright Music building along East College Street stands out. At 121 feet tall, those wishing to take in its entirety must crane their necks upward.
Brant Hollandsworth and Gavyn Priest, both forestry majors separately submitted the same tree.
They said the tree lies along the path they take to their respective classes and they marvel at its height each time they pass by.
Best Shade Tree
Although it’s unlikely that General Sam Houston ever found respite from Texas’ summer heat under the shade of the southern magnolia located in the front yard of Stephen and Caroline Garner, it still holds the distinction of being located on Nacogdoches’ historic Washington Square.
“Based on my research, this property was originally deeded to Sam Houston for his victory at San Jacinto,” Caroline said.
In addition to shading the family’s front yard, the tree also serves as valuable oasis for wildlife near downtown Nacogdoches.
“It provides an awesome amphitheater for an incredible acoustic experience for our local owl quartet,” Stephen said.
Brian and Cindy Pruett said they knew the search for a home ended when they first encountered the towering water oak on the property that would become Appleby Community Farm.
“I’m not exaggerating when I say the tree was part of our decision to purchase the property,” Cindy said.
The couple purchased the property in 2009, and soon after established Appleby Community Farm, Nacogdoches’ only community-supported agriculture farm.
“Over the many years we have lived and labored under its graceful branches, we have come to think of the tree as a sort of guardian.” Cindy said.
The oak serves as a shaded pick-up location for community members who collect monthly shares of fresh produce and eggs form the farm, and each spring it serves as an amphitheater for local musicians performing at the Appleby FarmFest.
“Our old man has watched over children swinging in his branches, silently participated in countless parties large and small, listened to hours of music, sheltered owls, guineas and doves, and witnessed a few tears and much laughter,” Cindy said. “The idea of our home, our farm continuing without his protection is unthinkable.”