AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - The first detailed statewide tree count in Texas history is headed toward this conclusion: Texas is No. 2, second only to Alaska.
The Texas Forest Service said Wednesday initial results of the first inventory outside East Texas indicate that the state has 60 million acres of forest land. That ranks second to Alaska and is about 23 percent of the forestation in the southern U.S.
The state has counted trees in the Piney Woods above the Gulf Coast since the 1930s. But this is the first scientific statewide tally.
"Last one we had was some dude on a horse in like 1904, rode through there and made notes," said Burl Carraway, a forest service official.
The 10-year study is at the halfway point, but officials don't expect the numbers to change much.