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Tree Farmer News

Woodland Tour to Focus on Wildlife Habitat Benefits of a Timber Harvest & the Habitat for Heat Program on Saturday, February 24, 2018 from 9am-12pm. Join foresters Kathy Beland and Frank Hudson, and landowners Dan and Pat Stone on this Walk in the Woods: Wildlife Benefits of a Timber Harvest tour. Participants will see an active timber harvest that will benefit woodland bird and wildlife habitat on the Stone’s 132 acre certified Tree Farm. Learn about their participation in the Woods, Wildlife and Warblers Program. The Stones’ property has been conserved with the Vermont Land Trust. Additionally, some of the trees harvested will be part of the Habitat for Heat Program, which will be sent to the Vermont Wood Pellet Company in nearby Clarendon where the wood will be transformed into pellets that will heat a local assisted-living facility. 
Full Press Release Here


APRIL 2017

If you have not heard about the Woods, Wildlife and Warblers program yet, please visit the website to learn more and tell your southern Vermont woodland owner friends and neighbors. The Woods, Wildlife and Warblers is a partnership between Audubon Vermont, the Vermont Tree Farm Committee, Vermont Woodlands Association, and the American Forest Foundation. We couldn't accomplish our work without the help of the rest of our partners, including Vermont Coverts, Vermont's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department, and Vermont's Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation.

Our focus is on providing southern Vermont landowners with the knowledge, tools, and resources that will allow them to better care for their woods and the critters that call them home.We offer free, no obligation services to landowners, such as informational materials and site visits from a woodland expert. The expert will walk your land with you and discuss goals you may have for your land such as:

  • -Enhancing wildlife habitat on your property;
  • -Increasing the variety of wildlife species visiting your woods;
  • -Identifying and controlling invasive plants and insects;
  • -Monitoring how your woods are changing; and
  • -Maintaining your woods into the future.

Learn more at and sign up for your free visit from a woodland expert.



APRIL 19, 2017

The Vermont Woodlands Association would like to remember John Hemenway who passed away on December 21, 2016 at the age of 92. His work for the New England Forest Foundation began in 1953. Heminway served on the VWA Board of Directors for many, many years, with his involvement in the Vermont Timberland Owners Association (now VWA) beginning in the early 1980s. He was the Vermont Outstanding Tree Farmer of the Year in 2013. John was a trusted friend, mentor, and inspiration for many in the New England forestry community. We hope his work and commitment to support woodlands, conservation, and sustainable management continues to inspire woodland owners for decades to come. A link to his obituary can be found here.

The New England Forestry Foundation has a wonderful memorial write-up as does the Valley News.

Watch the slideshow presented at the 2017 VWA Annual Meeting (PDF)

AFF Applauds Sonny Perdue as Secretary of Agriculture

JANUARY 19, 2017

WASHINGTON, D.C. (January 19, 2017) – The following statement may be attributed to Tom Martin, President and CEO of the American Forest Foundation (AFF).

“The American Forest Foundation welcomes President-elect Trump’s nomination of former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue to be the country’s next Secretary of Agriculture. As a landowner and avid sportsman, he knows the importance of America's forests, both public and privately owned, and understands the rural landowners and communities that work so hard to manage and protect these lands. As governor, he had an incredible track record of supporting policies at the state level, that helped landowners large and small to be responsible stewards of the land."


Boozman-Leahy Resolution Recogizes 75th Anniversary of the American Tree Farm System

JULY 14, 2016

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators John Boozman (R-AR) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT) introduced a resolution recognizing the 75th anniversary of the American Tree Farm System (ATFS), a program founded in 1941 to help family and individual woodland owners sustain forests and promote the benefits that forests provide.

The ATFS celebrated its 75th anniversary on June 12, 2016. The resolution highlights its important role in providing Americans with clean air, jobs, wildlife habitats and sustainable resources.  

“Tree farms are important to the economy of Arkansas and the entire country.  Over 340,000 family forest owners own 9.3 million acres of forestland in Arkansas.  The forest industry contributes more than $2 billion dollars to to our state’s economy in addition to providing numerous benefits to the environment,” Boozman said.  “Arkansas tree farmers and woodland owners have made vital contributions to our state, both economically and in terms of conservation, and have much to be proud of. I’m proud to recognize ATFS on this milestone.” Read full article.


American Tree Farm System Celebrates 75 Years, Commits to Future
FEBRUARY 12, 2016; Contact: Elizabeth Greener;; (202) 751-2442

American Forest Foundation celebrates milestone for its signature program with a pledge to increase its impact on clean water, wildlife habitat and wood supply

SEATTLE, WA – The American Forest Foundation (AFF) today kicked off its celebration of the 75th anniversary of the American Tree Farm System (ATFS), the largest and oldest sustainable forestry program for family forest owners. In celebration, AFF's governance, Tree Farmers, volunteers and partners have pledged to measurably increase their impact on the clean water, wildlife habitat and wood supply that comes from family-owned forests. Read full press release.


American Tree Farm System Honors Paul Harwood as 2015 National Outstanding Inspector of the Year; February 19, 2015, Contact: Molly Grieco, 202-448-0229

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The American Tree Farm System® (ATFS) is pleased to recognize Paul Harwood of Tunbridge, Vermont as the 2015 National Outstanding Inspector of the Year. Harwood was selected from among four regional winners for his exceptional on-the-ground work with family forest owners in Vermont and continued commitment the American Tree Farm System. Read full press release>>>.


VT Consulting Forester Paul Harwood named Northeast Regional Tree Farm forester for 2015
The Vermont Tree Farm program is pleased to announce that Consulting Forester Paul Harwood has been named as the Northeast Regional Tree Farm forester for 2015. Harwood was nominated (surreptitiously) by the Tree Farm committee for his exemplary service to Tree Farmers and the Tree Farm program.  Read full press release.

Update October 25, 2013 from AFF on Markets for Wood Products
Wood products, including products from American Tree Farm System® (ATFS)-certified lands (a program of AFF), will now be given a fair shot by the General Services Administration (GSA). The GSA is one of the largest builders in the federal government.

Strafford’s Tree Man Reflects on ‘Life’s Work’ in Taylor Valley Forest: Hemenway Recognized As ‘Tree Farmer Of The Year’ By Kate Spencer, The Herald of Randolph, 8/29/13

(Photo: Herald / Tim Calabro)

Ever since he bought his first 1000 acres in Taylor Valley in 1950 (at just $4 an acre), John Hemenway of Strafford has been the steady backbone of the Taylor Valley Tree farm, an expansive swatch of undeveloped forest that spans Strafford, Chelsea, Tunbridge, and Vershire.

Under Hemenway’s leadership, loggers and foresters transformed the valley from former farmland, which was growing up into brush, to one of the most heavily wooded areas in Orange County.

Today, at age 89, Hemenway owns 2400 acres that support a successful timber operation, exporting hardwood around the world. The land also serves as a wildlife habitat, an outdoor classroom, and a recreation spot for everyone from horseback riders to hunters to students at the nearby Mountain School in Vershire.

Read full article>>>>

2013 North East Region Outstanding Tree Farmer of the Year

The American Tree Farm System® (ATFS) has named Allen R. Yale, Jr. of Vermont the 2013 North East Region Outstanding Tree Farmer of the Year, an annual sustainable forestry honor sponsored by STIHL, Inc.

Every year, ATFS inspecting foresters and state committees nominate certified Tree Farmers whose conservation efforts, outreach efforts to their community, and advocacy for sustainable forest management exceed expectations.

Yaledale Tree Farm consists of 75 acres of certified woodlands and is managed primarily for the production of high quality timber, both softwood and hardwood, as well as firewood to heat the Yales’ home.

The National Tree Farmer of the Year, announced at July’s National Tree Farmer Convention in Minneapolis, is chosen from among these regional honorees, who will all attend this year’s convention and participate in a panel discussion about their sustainable forestry work. Photo above: Allen Yale receiving his regional award at the Minnesota Convention from Tom Martin and the Stihl Chainsaw VP.

View of Duluth, MN & Lake Superior on a 2013 National Tree Farmer Convention tour.

Read full press release>>>

Tree Farmers Honored at 2013 VWA Annual Meeting

Above: Tree Farmer Arthur Goodwin, center, was honored with a 25-year
Tree Farm sign at the April 2013 VWA Annual Meeting.

Above: Kathy Beland honored as a 2012 Vermont Tree Farm Forester
with Tom Martin, American Forest Foundation President & CEO

Above: Paul Harwood, center, honored for his service as a 2012
Vermont Tree Farm Forester of the Year.

Finding Their Way: Mike and Vivien Fritz chart a course for sustainability and fun on their Vermont Tree Farm., by Madeline Bodin. Reprinted with permission from the winter 2012 issue of Tree Farmer magazine. Copyright 2012 American Forest Foundation, Photos by Rob Amberg.

Mike Fritz slides out of his 4x4 utility task vehicle (UTV), grabs a long pry-bar from the cargo area, and wedges it under a rock in the middle of a cross-country ski trail, part of 20 miles of trails that weave through the 530 acres of land he owns with his wife, Vivien, in Marshfield, Vermont. About 445 of the acres are forested.

“When you see a rock like this with a white mark, that means I hit it with my mower,” says Mike. Autumn on the Fritzes’ Beaver Brook Tree Farm means preparing for cross-country ski season and sees Mike mowing each of those 20 miles of trails twice, then returning on a UTV loaded with hoes, shovels, and chain saws to clear culverts and remove rocks and trees to create a smooth surface
for winter gliding.

This is the life the Fritzes imagined as software engineers living in Boston, before they bought their property in Vermont 14 years ago, and before the land itself revealed new possibilities to them.

View entire article>>> (pdf)

Tree Farmers Honored at 2012 VWA Annual Meeting

Three 25-year Tree Farmers (left to right, John Meyer, Alden Blodgett, & Bob
Pulaski ) were presented with silver signs at the 2012 Annual Meeting.

Challenge Tree Farm owned by Putnam W. Blodgett
named 2011 Vermont and Regional Outstanding Tree Farmer of the Year

Put Blodgett was honored by being named the Vermont and North East Regional (13 states) Outstanding Tree Farmer of the Year by the American Forest Foundation.  This is a testament to his decades of sound forest management and stewardship of this 670-acre property that has been enrolled in the Tree Farm program for more than fifty years.


2010 Tree Farm Convention a Huge Success!

Over 400 people attended the 17th Annual Tree Farm Convention held at the Hilton Hotel in Burlington, VT on July 13-15 in Burlington, VT.

Folks were treated to knowledgeable guest speakers, a silent auction, excellent pre and post convention tours, and an incredible Field Day at Shelburne Farms (see photos).
Participants of the Field Day at Shelburne Farms.

As sponsors of this event, Vermont Woodlands would like to thank all of the individuals and companies that helped us make this a memorable experience!

Commemorative Convention items are available for purchase.  See what is still available.


Read the Vermont Tree Farm Program Newsletter:

June 2017
February 2017
December 2016

August 2016
March 2016

July 2015
January 2015 newsletter (1.21 MB PDF)
January 2014 newsletter (730 Kb PDF)


Touring the mid-age red pine forest at the University of Minnesota's Cloquet Forestry Center at the 2013 National Tree Farmer Convention.