What is a Tree Farm?
A Tree Farm is woodland that is managed to produce forest products with the added benefits of improving wildlife habitat, water quality, recreation, and scenic values. While most Tree Farms are privately owned, there are also municipal, school, and other public forests certified as Tree Farms.
A Tree Farm must be at least 10 acres in size, have and actively use a written management plan, and demonstrate a commitment to forest stewardship. There are approximately 1,500 Tree Farms in New Hampshire.
What the NH Tree Farm Program Does:
The NH Tree Farm Program promotes the growing and harvesting of renewable forest resources while protecting the environment and increasing public understanding of the benefits of productive forestry.
Our goals include:
- Accomplishing excellent forestry by educating and motivating forest landowners to grow, harvest, and renew forest resources on a sustainable basis in an environmentally sound manner.
- Providing working demonstrations of forest stewardship so that other landowners can follow best practices.
- Promoting better public understanding of the role of forest lands in meeting human needs for wood, water, wildlife, and recreation.
- Protecting and promoting the rights of Tree Farmers to manage their forest resources according to best practices.
What is the American Tree Farm System?
The American Tree Farm System is a program for woodland owners who are committed to managing their property for wood, water, wildlife, and recreation.
The NH Tree Farm Program is run by volunteers and co-sponsors, including the New England Society of American Foresters – Granite State Division, the N.H. Division of Forests and Lands, the N.H. Timberland Owners Association, the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests, and the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension. At the core of the NH Tree Farm Program is a flourishing network of people who care deeply about the environment. Certification by the American Tree Farm System (ATFS) indicates that a Tree Farm member is among the best woodland stewards in America. Certified members have access to an affordable certification system available for private landowners. ATFS certification is internationally recognized and meets strict third-party verification and auditing standards.
A Tree Farm sign is the sign of good stewardship and can be displayed with pride.
Who are Tree Farmers?
Tree Farmers share a unique commitment to protect wildlife habitat and watersheds, to conserve soil, to promote stewardship values, and to provide recreation for their communities while producing forest products. These individuals are key to the kinds of forests, forest activities, and forest resources that future generations will enjoy. New Hampshire Tree Farmers are your neighbors all over the Granite State. You can be a Tree Farmer, too!
What is Sustainable Forestry?
Sustainable forestry has been defined as the “art and science of managing or tending forests over the long term in such a way as to maintain or restore high levels of ecosystem health while also providing the forest products and amenities humans both need and enjoy.”
This definition combines elements of traditional “sustained-yield management” – which focuses on continuing the flow of forest products – and “ecologically sustainable forestry” – which focuses on the condition of the forest, including soil productivity, biodiversity, landscape patterns, and other ecological processes.
Sustainable forestry – also called “sustainable silviculture” – embraces both approaches by focusing on sustaining the ecological processes that maintain the flow of forest products. This subtle, yet significant, adjustment acknowledges the importance of sustaining forests in all their complexity.