Campus Trees

Campus Tree Advisory Committee

  • Nathan Lawrence, Chair
  • Tina Cade, Professor, Agriculture Department
  • Kelly Eby, Urban Forester, City of San Marcos
  • Kyle Estes, Associate Director, Housing and Residential Life
  • Joel Soto, Construction Contract Administrator, Round Rock
  • Joe Kipp, Coordinator, Campus Recreation
  • Sally Amaye, Graduate Student
  • Nathan Lawrence, Director, Grounds & Waste Management
  • David Lemke, Professor, Biology Department
  • TBN, Undergraduate Student

Tree Plan

Tree Campus USA - Class of 2014

To obtain this distinction, Texas State University has met the five core standards for sustainable campus forestry required by Tree Campus USA, including the establishment of a tree advisory committee, evidence of a campus tree-care plan, dedicated annual expenditures for its campus tree program, an Arbor Day observance and the sponsorship of student service-learning projects.

From Gretchen Riley, Partnership Coordinator, Texas A&M Forest Service on our 2014 Tree Campus USA approval.


Your application for your 2014 recertification as a Tree Campus USA has been approved.  A lot of work goes into seeking and maintaining the designation and we applaud your effort. Recognizing and encouraging the benefits of trees makes your campus and a better community for learning.  Thank you!

Photo of Water Tower and New Trees Tree Campus USA

November 30, 2011- Texas State University has been recognized as a “Tree Campus USA” by the Arbor Day Foundation. Tree Campus USA recognizes the best practices in campus forestry throughout the United States. The goal of the program is to honor college campuses and leaders of their surrounding communities for promoting healthy urban forest management and engaging the campus community in environmental stewardship.

“I expect this designation will raise our awareness of the urban forest around us and help us appreciate—even more than we already do—the beauty and environmental role of our trees,” said Texas State President Denise Trauth. “We are proud to be among the first campuses in Texas to receive it.”

The Texas Forest Service and the Arbor Day Foundation jointly chose Texas State because of the current work the university is doing to involve its students in planting and caring for the trees across campus.
To earn Tree Campus USA recognition, a school must meet five core standards of tree care and community engagement: Establish a campus tree advisory committee; provide evidence of a campus tree-care plan; have dedicated annual expenditures toward the campus tree-care plan; hold an Arbor Day observance; organize a service-learning project aimed at engaging the student body.
Almost 200 volunteers turned out to celebrate Texas State becoming the newest Tree Campus USA. Students, faculty, and staff along with San Marcos residents planted 71 trees on the west side of campus near the Speck Street Garage. The trees were donated by Toyota through the Arbor Day Foundation.
The new trees were specifically selected to thrive in the local soil and climate conditions. The diverse species planted include arroyo sweetwood, Mexican plum, retama, cedar elm, live oak, eastern red cedar, Mexican white oak, and Texas redbud. Water-conserving irrigation was also installed, to help the young trees whether ongoing drought-like conditions until they fully establish themselves.


State Champion Trees

Big trees are a part of our Texas heritage. The Texas Forest Service coordinates the Big Tree Registry program in Texas, and the purpose of the program is to:
  • Locate and recognize the largest known species of its kind that grow in the State of Texas
  • Obtain the cooperation of tree owners to protect and preserve these specimens as landmarks for future generations to enjoy
  • Stimulate interest in and a greater appreciation of trees -- their worth as a natural resource and as individual specimens

The Texas State campus is the home of a champion Chinese pistache (Pistacia chinensis) and a champion Shumard oak (Quercus shumardii). The Chinese pistache is located in the 1300 block of Academy Street. The Shumard oak is located in the 600 block of University Drive near the JC Kellam Administration building.

Image Gallery

Texas State Tree Campus USA Arbor Day

Texas State University has been recognized by the Arbor Day Foundation and Toyota as a Tree Campus USA school in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, & 2020.

Arbor Day Photos, November 17, 2018

Round Rock Arbor Day Photos, November 17, 2018