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EAB Detections

There have been new detections of EAB in VT that have expanded the infested areas within Bennington, Caledonia, Lamoille, and Washington Counties. These new detections were discovered through seasonal monitoring for the presence of EAB using purple traps and trap trees. Because the EAB flight season has ended, we have concluded our surveying efforts for this year. We are thankful to all the volunteer Forest Pest First Detectors that assisted in these efforts. In total, 114 purple traps and 37 trap trees were surveyed with the help of 44 volunteer Detectors.   The  mapped area in Vermont to which Slow-the-Spread recommendations apply now extends to include the towns listed below in the following Confirmed Infested Area and High Risk Area.

  • New Towns in the Confirmed Infested Area: Bennington, Peacham, Cabot, and Woodbury
  • New Towns in the High Risk Area: Danville, Hardwick, Elmore, and Walden 

Confirmed Infested Areas are within 5 miles of a known infestation. While symptoms may not be obvious, EAB is likely to be present in much of this area. High Risk Areas extend 5 miles from the outer edge of a Confirmed Infested Area. EAB is likely expanding into and present in some of this area.
Forest landowners, homeowners, foresters, logging contractors, municipalities, and utilities in the infested area should evaluate the options available to them to protect ash trees and immediately implement Vermont’s  Slow the Spread recommendations.
If you have questions about managing ash in your woodlot or around your home, or need Use Value Appraisal guidance, check out the resources available at VTinvasives.org.

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10 Recommendations to help you manage Ash in your woods in the face of EAB and Climate Change

Ash is an important part of the forests in the Northeast. If you are lucky to have ash trees in your woods, they bring unique assets. Sadly, ash species are facing attack by the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB), an invasive wood-boring insect that feeds on ash trees. EAB has been present in the U.S. since 2002, but in the last few years it has spread to the Northeast, posing a grave threat to the survival of our ash. All three ash species in the Northeast — white, black, and green ash — are listed as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) because of the threat from EAB. Added to this, we are also facing impacts from climate change. But with thoughtful management we can give ash a fighting chance. Often when there is a threat to the forest, the first reaction is to act quickly, but if we learn from past forest outbreaks (like the spread of chestnut blight in the early 1900s) it pays to be careful about what we do so that we don’t lose ash completely. If your woodlot contains ash trees, you will have to weigh the important benefits of ash along with the threats of both EAB and climate change.
For Landowners: 10 Recommendations to Help You Manage Ash in Your Woods

For Foresters: Ten Recommendations for Managing Ash (with citations)

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How the 2020 Election will affect Climate Policy and America’s Family-Owned Forests

The 2020 Presidential election was one of the most unique in our history for a number of reasons. Now that the election is over, it is time to start considering the implications of a Biden Presidency on key issues, and for the American Forest Foundation, one of the most important issues to consider is climate change.

President-Elect Biden has made it clear that climate change will be one of his most significant policy priorities and is already providing some indication of how that is likely to manifest.

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Entering the Vermont Tree Farm Program

Simply put, entering the Tree Farm program requires a minimum acreage (10 acres of forest generally not including a house site of 2 acres), a forest management plan that meets the ATFS standards, and an ATFS active forester who may sign off on the quality of the plan and physical compliance in the forest with the plan. While Vermont has an abundance of trained ATFS foresters, the plan writer need not be the ATFS forester, only that the plan be signed off by an ATFS forester. Many of the FPR county foresters are ATFS foresters and may, time permitting, be the signatory person on the ATFS verification paperwork — commonly called the “004 Form” — if the plan meets the ATFS standards.

There is another category available to a landowner with the minimum acreage to enter the program: it’s called the Pioneer Program. This category is used in two different manners: first, to bring a new landowner into the program, and second, to “hold” previously certified Tree Farms until they are eligible for full certification again.

For forest landowners coming into the program who:

  • Don’t have a management plan, or
  • Have a plan that doesn’t meet the ATFS standard, or
  • Have a plan that has not been reviewed and signed off on by a ATFS trained forester,

and, in all of the above cases, plan to bring the plan into full compliance, the Pioneer program is a great option! A Tree Farmer can be held as a Pioneer until the management plan earns the signature of an ATFS forester, assuming it is within 5 years of the initial effort to enter the Pioneer program as signed off on by an ATFS forester on the “Pioneer” ATFS Form 004.

For those Tree Farmers who had been fully certified in the past but now have:

  • Plans that have fallen out of compliance with, or been updated to the latest ATFS standards, or
  • Executed management activities in their forest that do not follow the certified management plan approved for their Tree Farm and have not been approved by an ATFS forester, or
  • Not had an ATFS Form 004 form executed on their Tree Farm in two cycles of the maximum time between Form 004s (10 years),

and, in all the above cases, can rectify the deficiency within 5 years, the Pioneer program is also a great option! A Pioneer may be returned to fully certified status if the deficient reason is rectified within 5 years of being “held” in the Pioneer status. However, properties “held” in the Pioneer status that have not corrected the reason for placement in that status after 5 years are subject to removal from the program altogether.

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Capitol Christmas Tree set up in Montpelier

The Capitol Christmas Tree this year comes from a property in Wallingford.

Len Cadwallader co-owns the Brookvale property with his wife, Mary Ann Cadwallader. The tree farm has been in the family since Len Cadwallader’s grandparents purchased it in the 1930s.

Read the full article here.

Did you miss the tree coming into the capital? Watch it here!

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America’s forest sector is ready for climate action and rural America can benefit

While this election demonstrates there’s still a significant divide amongst Americans on many issues, there’s a center on climate policy that is tapping America’s forests as a natural climate solution. 

America’s forest sector is ready for this moment, with deep consensus among public and private sector leaders on needed policies to grow natural carbon capture in forests and wood products, generating thousands of new jobs in the process and significant economic opportunities for rural communities and landowners. 

This hard-won consensus has been developed by the Forest-Climate Working Group (FCWG), a coalition that represents every aspect of the forest sector — private landowners, forest products and other major companies, state and federal forestry agencies, environmental NGOs, researchers and carbon finance interests — and which our organizations co-chair. The FCWG has patiently worked together since 2007 to identify needed forestry actions for climate and then translate that understanding into policy proposals that bipartisan elected officials can confidently move, knowing they have sector-wide support. 

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Vermont Capitol Christmas tree coming from Cadwallader Tree Farm

On November 24, this year’s Vermont Capitol Christmas Tree, which will illuminate the statehouse in Montpelier for the holiday season, will be cut down from Cadwallader Tree Farm in Wallingford, VT, owned by Len and Mary Ann Cadwallader.

The Cadwalladers have owned the land from which the tree comes from for 80 years, and Len’s grandparents first got the farm involved in Vermont Tree Farm. While not specifically a Christmas tree farm, the farm had several large balsam firs among other varieties. Mr. Cadwallader described the balsam tree as “stately and full” standing at over 60 ft tall. He knew
the capitol was looking for a tree, and felt he had one that could be the Capitol Tree. So, he alerted his local forester who notified the statehouse, and he was given approval to donate the tree to the Capitol.

The event at Cadwallader Farm on November 24 will include the cutting of another balsam tree, which will go to Dartmouth College to be erected on the Hanover Green.

Mr. Cadwallader is grateful for the opportunity saying, “I am pleased to donate the trees and brighten the holiday season, particularly this year with the pandemic.”

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Forestry, Conservation and Environmental CEOs Establish Common Ground on the Role of Private Working Forests as a Natural Climate Solution

WASHINGTON, Nov. 12, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — 48 environmental, conservation, and forest business leaders announced an agreement of principles on the important role sustainably managed forests and forest products can play in mitigating climate change.

Today, forests in the U.S. offset 15% of the country’s industrial carbon emissions. Carbon sequestration in sustainably managed private forest lands and carbon storage in forest products can provide a natural solution to climate change while also providing a wide variety of additional benefits like clean air and water, wildlife habitat, and good paying jobs.

The principles are signed by the CEOs of American Forests, American Forest Foundation, Environmental Defense Fund, National Alliance of Forest Owners, The Nature Conservancy, and the CEOs of 43 forestry businesses representing over 46 million acres of working forests across the United States.

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Pioneering Tree Farmers

Once upon a time, “Pioneer” was the pathway to becoming a Tree Farmer. Today, Pioneer status can still serve as an introductory level of participation in the program, but it is not a mandatory starting point. The Pioneer category allows interested landowners who may not quite meet AFF Standards of Sustainability but do meet eligibility requirements to join the American Tree Farm System. The goal of Pioneer status is to provide landowners an opportunity to work toward being a Certified Tree Farmer, whether new to the program or just needing a management plan update.

If you are a non-industrial private forestland owner (NIPF) with 10 acres or more of contiguous forest, you are eligible to be a Tree Farmer or to enter the program as a Pioneer. It’s really simple. There’s a form called the “004” that would need the first page filled out. This is basic contact information for you and basic property information. You can get help from Kathleen at the office, a tree farm committee member, or a consulting forester. Once you are enrolled as a Pioneer, you’ll have up to 5 years to complete a management plan that meets the Standards of Sustainability in order to become certified.

The Tree Farm Committee has a management plan template that we will share with you so you can familiarize yourself with the components of a management plan. We will facilitate an introduction to a tree farmer in your area who will be happy to meet with you and take you on a guided tour of his or her tree farm.

The American Tree Farm System has provided a grant to the VT Tree Farm Program to assist in our Pioneering Tree Farm effort. Because of this funding, we are able to waive the annual $30 administrative fee for the first year. This fee helps to cover the cost of administering the program to ensure its integrity and compliance with the American Tree Farm System and third party certification.

The Vermont Tree Farm Committee and our Vermont Tree Farmers are proud of their stewardship. Please consider joining the nearly 500 Tree Farmers who share a common love for and connection to the land.

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Welcome to our new website!

Welcome to the new website for the Vermont Tree Farm program! Please check back often as we get the site updated and provide informative and interesting content to you, our visitors. Nice to see you; hope to see you again soon!