FAQs for Foresters, see our “For Inspectors” page.

What’s the first thing I need to know if I want to become a Tree Farmer?

To become a Tree Farmer you must have a minimum of 10 acres of forestland, excluding your homestead if you live on the property and it must be privately owned.

What if I want my property to be a certified Tree Farm?

To qualify as a certified Tree Farm your property must:

  • Be a minimum of 10 acres (excluding homestead) and a maximum of 20,000 contiguous acres.
  • Be privately owned.
  • Meet AFF STANDARDS, which includes having an acceptable Forest Management Plan.
  • Successfully pass an inspection of forest activity progress, based on the activities outlined in your FMP, every 5 years or less if property is selected for random sampling inspection.

How do I find a forester?

Vermont Woodlands Association includes most of the best licensed consulting foresters in the state.  Consulting foresters are committed to promoting and strengthening the long-term conservation and management of Vermont’s natural resources.

List of Vermont Woodlands Accredited Consulting Foresters

How do I find a certified Tree Farm inspector?

VWA takes the responsibility to provide you with a list of qualified Tree Farm foresters-inspectors. If you have a forester who is on this list, he or she can guide you through this process. If you forester is not an inspector, VWA can provide training for him or her. It is up to you to make initial contact with an inspector or forester of your choice.

What is it going to cost?

While the initial contact between a forester and a Tree Farmer may be free, or of nominal cost, time spent advising, educating, developing the management plan, or evaluating plan progress (commonly referred to as “inspecting”) will obviously result in billable services. Some foresters charge by the hour, and some have established fees based on specific services or acreages involved. A fundamental step in a forester’s assessment of your forest involves a “cruise” or a walk through of representative areas of your woods to determine tree species, tree conditions, and wood volumes. It is best to discuss costs with your forester early in the process to ensure both parties understand what is going to happen, what it will cost, and what the limits are.

What if I don’t quite meet the qualifications for a Certified Tree Farm?

The Pioneer Tree Farm category allows interested landowners, who may not quite meet the AFF Standard, to participate in the American Tree Farm System. The goal of using Pioneer Tree Farm is to establish communications with non-managing landowners to motivate them to work toward Tree Farm Certification by implementing excellent forestry on their property.

What are the qualifications for a Pioneer status?

To qualify as a Pioneer Tree Farm your property must include:

  • Minimum of 10 and maximum of 20,000 contiguous forested acres.
  • Private landownership
  • May have a written forest management plan, but the plan is not required prior to initial inspection and designation as a Pioneer Tree Farm. In order to achieve ATFS Certification, a Pioneer Tree Farmer must begin following a written plan that meets the AFF Standard before graduation to Certified status can occur.
  • Must meet the AFF Standard within five years or be removed from the program. Graduation to Certified status may take place sooner than five years, but Pioneer status cannot be retained longer than five years.