About Tree Farm
The American Tree Farm System is NOT about Christmas trees, although some of our members grow Christmas trees… The Tree Farm System is NOT about monoculture tree plantations or genetically engineered non-native tree programs! We are about the sustainment and promotion of our native, working forest!
Today’s Tree Farm program is sponsored by the American Forest Foundation (AFF), which is the forest products industry trade organization. AFF is advised by leading foresters and other environmental specialists and funded through corporate, grass roots, and private donations. On a state level, each Tree Farm program is locally sponsored and managed by a state Tree Farm Committee. In Vermont, this committee is the board of the Vermont Woodlands Association consisting of landowners and Tree Farmers.
During the last decade, the Tree Farm (TF) Program has changed and matured dramatically to reflect the lessons learned in forestry in the US and to showcase the high standards expected by the public in forest management.
In June 2009, Vermont Tree Farm participated in the first-ever certification audit for the group certificate to be issued by PEFC. Outside auditors spent a full week reviewing management records and visiting twenty-two randomly selected Tree Farms. Four similar audit processes occurred in the Northeast, Southeast, Northwest, and Southwest. Vermont performed very well in this first ever audit
Based on audit results in all four regions, Tree Farm is now third party certified through the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC), an internationally recognized certifier. Under a group certificate issued by PEFC, Tree Farms across the country may now sell their timber as third party certified.
In 2016, the Vermont Tree Farm program was audited again for conformance to certification standards and once again we performed very well. In fact, Vermont had no non-conformities identified by the auditor.
Vermont has 437 Certified Tree Farms managing a total of about 120,000 acres. Among this number there are nearly twenty who have been Tree Farmers for more than fifty years and many more are twenty-five year land stewards in Tree Farm.
October Walk in the Woods Tour