Becoming a Tree Farmer
The American Tree Farm Program was started in 1941 by the forest industry to encourage private woodland owners to actively manage their forests to provide wood for future generations in an environmentally sustainable manner that improves wildlife habitat, protects water quality and enhances scenic values. Today, more than 500 Massachusetts woodlands are managed in accordance with Tree Farm standards.
While growing wood is important, certified Tree Farms do more than just grow trees: they also provide important wildlife habitat, protect our streams and watersheds, and serve as sites for outdoor recreation such as hiking, skiing, fishing and hunting.
Benefits of Having Your Woodland Certified as a Tree Farm
- Take part in workshops, Field Days, & Woods Walks and learn from other woodland owners new ideas and new ways to care for your land.
- Know that your woodland meets national standards for sustainable forestry and has the right to display the Tree Farm sign.
- Work together with other woodland owners on issues of mutual concern.
- A one-year free subscription to Tree Farmer magazine.
How to Become a Tree Farmer
To qualify as a Tree Farm in Massachusetts, you must:
- have at least 10 acres of woodland that is sustainably managed to produce forest products.
- Have a written plan for the future management of your woodland.
- have your land certified by a forester as meeting Tree Farm standards on a Tree Farm Certification Form. (If you don’t have a forester, we can provide you with a list of certified Tree Farm inspectors.)
- Have your land re-inspected every 10 years to retain its Tree Farm status.
When your land has been certified as meeting Tree Farm standards, MFLA will assign you a state Tree Farm number and file the certification with the national Tree Farm program. We then will arrange with your forester to get you the familiar green & white Tree Farm sign to display on your property.
Tree Farmers are encouraged to join the Massachusetts Forest Landowners Association. Every issue of MFLA’s magazine, The Woodland Steward, includes a column of coming events and information for Tree Farmers in the Bay State. MFLA membership (annual cost $35) also includes discounts on forestry publications, auto insurance and other materials.