Tree Farmers Vermont Why am I a Tree Farmer?

Ben Campbell

Ben Campbell is a consulting forester and owner of EB Campbell Forest Land Management, LLC. While he helps others manage their properties, Ben is a landowner himself owning 208 acres in Starksboro, Vt. The property consists of 174 productive forested acres, 22 acres of wetlands and ledges and 10 acres of open, idle agricultural land.

The property was first enrolled in the Tree Farm program in 2009. Ben first heard about Tree Farm while at college in 1985. He remembers being interested because of their “cool hats.” In managing his land Ben seeks to produce quality forest products and fuelwood, promote wildlife, songbird, and pollinator habitats, create clean water, and maintain the land for recreational enjoyment. To accomplish these goals the stands of the woodland are treated with a type of irregular shelterwood that closely resembles crop tree management. Over the last twenty years he has been able to regenerate about 12 acres via several patches of various sizes up to 3 acres.

What does being in the Tree Farm program mean to you?
Being in Tree Farm is a commitment to practice excellent forestry.

What do you value about the Tree Farm program?
The Tree Farm program validates our careful stewardship of the land.

Why should a landowner join the Tree Farm program?
It is an excellent way to meet like-minded forestland owners and share experiences and ideas, as well as the above two comments.

Do you have any advice for landowners that have recently joined Tree Farm?
It doesn’t stop with the development of the forest plan, it is just the beginning. Implement practices, adjust, and modify as needed. Don’t be afraid to try something new, be it a different silvicultural system, access improvement or creating a type of habitat that compliments your landscape.

What are some ways that you would suggest to get the next generation involved in Tree Farm?
That’s a tough one. Getting them involved early, let them know that the next generation’s efforts don’t have to duplicate their parents work and that whatever level of commitment, their efforts will bring much satisfaction and a sense of pride. I admire families that are able to pass the Tree Farm ‘torch’ to their descendants.

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