Texas Forest Country may need our help to recover from wildfires

HUDSON, TX (KTRE) - Brown leaves, frail branches, and gaps where trees once stood all indicate the need to replant in East Texas.

"We want to keep our forest here, and replanting is a good way to get a jump start on that," said Forest Health Specialist of the Texas Forest Service, Joe Pase.

The Pineywoods will re-forest itself naturally, but if everyone pitches in the timeframe will be cut in half. Foresters say you don't have to look very hard or very far to see holes in the landscape from where trees once stood, prior to the drought and wildfires.

"We saw so many old beautiful oak trees die," said Timber Country Real Estate broker Michael Sessions.

Curb appeal and tree cover is important to Sessions' business. He says a lush yard is the first thing people notice. That's why his company is giving away more than a thousand seedlings this weekend.

"We just wanted to do something to just kind of help replace some of the trees that have been lost due to the drought and the wildfires," said Sessions.

The Texas Forest Service is glad to have the extra help in repairing the environment.

"I think people in East Texas, even though we have lots of trees and we sometimes take them for granted, I think people are still aware that trees are important. And, we can always plant more," said Pase.

While you can't travel far without noticing dead trees, Pase says the best place to start is your own yard.

"Individual trees on individual properties and pockets of trees that died, those will be good to replant," said Pase.

It will take years for the trees to mature, but the seedlings will begin to make a difference immediately.

Copyright 2012 KTRE. All rights reserved.