With over 167 million acres sprawling across the state of Texas those owning the land are a diverse lot. Those lands include farms, ranches, forest land, and just plain get-away recreational properties.

According to USDA, nearly three million of those acres are owned by foreign entities. Canadians own the most Texas land and have concentrated on purchasing East Texas timberlands. These Canadian-owned lands dominate in Tyler, Newton, Panola, Nacogdoches and Cherokee counties.

Owners from The Netherlands are heavily involved in ownership of timber lands in Trinity and Polk counties, with over a half million acres. Germans own large land tracts in crop farming areas of central Texas. United Kingdom investors own over 200,000 acres in Reeves County — in far West Texas.

Breaking the land ownerships down by states, both Maine and Texas have over 2,900,000 acres owned by foreigners.

In Alabama, over one and a half million acres is foreign owned — and in Washington it’s 1,400,000 acres and in Florida 1,180,000 acres owned by non-Americans. Economists at the Texas A & M Real Estate Research Center say they expect more purchases of Texas — and US — land by foreign entities in the years ahead.

Pruning fruit trees can be time consuming chore but Spencer Perkins, Extension Agent in Athens says to keep trees producing and having a long life, it’s necessary. Perkins recommends annual pruning and providing fertilizer and water and spraying as needed for healthy trees. He also suggests holding off on pruning until later in February or early March to hopefully beat a late freeze.

Last Friday was Confederate Heroes Day in Texas.

It’s been a state holiday since 1931. The day is an optional holiday for State workers or they can show up at the office and take another day off later in the year. The holiday, written into law by the Texas Legislature nearly a hundred years ago, recognizes Confederate Army General Robert E. Lee’s birthday. Several other southern states also celebrate the holiday this month. A few disgruntled legislators have tried over the years to vote out the Texas holiday, but have been unsuccessful!

horace@valornet.com.