According to the TOTY website, the program was created in 2007 to recognize "outstanding trees within the city limits of Austin." The awards shed light on healthy, beautiful trees that are examples of correct tree placement, care and selection.
The program originally ran from 2007 to 2013. This year will be the TOTY Awards' first time back in nearly a decade.
Austin residents get to nominate and then vote to decide the winners of the TOTY Awards. The nomination period will last until Sept. 30. Voting will take place October 1-31 online.
There are five categories of trees: small, large, schoolyard, story and unique.
Nominated trees must meet the following criteria:
- Located within Austin city limits or Austin's ETJ
- Publicly accessible (within city parks, schools, greenbelts, libraries, in the public Right-of-Way, or an accessible local business, like a parking lot)
- Not a previous winner
To nominate a tree, click here.
Several resources to identify trees are available online. Austin TOTY Awards provides the following suggested resources: iNaturalist App, 1976 Austin Tree Registry, The Arbor Day Foundation's What Tree is That? Tool, and the Native Tree Growing Guide for Central Texas.
TreeFolks and Austin PARD are also collaborating with the Still Water Foundation, Page 33 Studio and Harvest Lumber Co. for the 2022 Austin TOTY Awards.
To learn more about the Austin TOTY Awards, click here.