The primary purpose of state forests and arboretums is to serve as educational resources for Texans and visitors.

    Select an Arboretum below to find out more.
     + Ruth Bowling Nichols Arboretum

    In 1996, State Sen. Robert Nichols donated 3.5 acres of land to the Texas A&M Forest Service and leased an adjacent, similiarly-sized parcel of land to the agency for just $1 per year. Three years later, the agency opened an arboretum devoted to educating school children, Boy Scouts, Master Gardeners and other local groups.

    Named in honor of Sen. Nichols' mother, the Ruth Bowling Nichols Arboretum features several trails. The main trail is a quarter-mile long and broken into three sections, each featuring the different types of forests—pure pine, mixed hardwood and pine and hardwood—that are represented along the trail.

    Ruth Bowling Nichols Arboretum path

    Historic trees have been planted in open areas along the trail, as well as rows of the different types of pines that can be found in East Texas.

    The arboretum is open to various educational groups, by appointment.

    Ruth Bowling Nichols Arboretum
    1015 South East Loop 456
    Jacksonville, TX 75766-1783


     + Olive Scott Petty Arboretum

    The mission of the Olive Scott Petty Arboretum is to promote the knowledge and appreciation of trees and plants for personal enjoyment, inspiration and recreation; for educational and aesthetic purposes; and for scientific research.

    The arboretum is in the process of being grown. When complete, it will serve as a living classroom—a site of teaching, research and public education related to the native trees and plants of southeast Texas.

    Plant Trees In Honor and In Memory of

    You can be part of creating this legacy by helping develop the Olive Scott Petty Arboretum. Your donation of $100, $200 or more will be used to plant a tree in honor of or in memory of a loved one. Names of those who are honored or remembered will be listed at the Arboretum. More information can be found on the Donor Form.


    The land was a gift to TFS from Scott Petty in remembrance of his father, Olive Scott Petty (1895–1994), to be used as an arboretum to benefit Texans.

    Olive Scott Petty was the son of V.A. Petty Jr., president of the Olive Sternenberg Lumber Company (renamed in 1908). He was born in Olive, Texas and this land is where he developed a love and appreciation for the outdoors. It was Mr. Petty’s dream to use the property for educating young people about Texas’ forests as well as the history of the land. His favorite tree was a magnolia and it was the first tree planted at the Arboretum.


    The Olive Scott Petty Arboretum is located on Hwy. 69 approximately, 30 minutes north of Beaumont.