COSHOCTON -- The Coshocton Soil and Water Conservation District is sponsoring its 13th annual "Big Tree Contest." This contest is open to all species of trees growing on privately-owned property in Coshocton County. Property line trees and trees growing on federal, state or local government land are not eligible.

Any person can enter a tree physically located in Coshocton County whether or not the tree is growing on the nominator's property.

Nearly 50 percent of Coshocton County contains trees of various species, and the county is located in the heart of Ohio's forest product industry. Trees are not only valued for their obvious wood-based products, but also for their ability to purify air through their uptake of carbon monoxide, combat soil erosion caused by wind and water with their massive root systems, all the while providing shade and beauty. However, trees do not live forever. Lightning, insects, fungus and decay can take their toll on these graceful giants.

The Coshocton SWCD encourages you to submit as many entries as you like for you and your neighbor's trees. Entry forms are available at the Coshocton SWCD office or online at www.coshoctonswcd.org. All entries must be received by 4:30 p.m. July 29.

Entries will be measured by a representative from the Coshocton SWCD using the national standardized measurement criteria. The owner of the 2011 Coshocton County "Big Tree" will receive a plaque at Coshocton SWCD's 69th annual meeting and banquet on Oct. 20 at the career center.