The American Tree Farm System is a nationwide community of more than 90,000 individuals and families joined by their desire for excellence in forest stewardship. These landowners share a commitment to protect watersheds and wildlife habitat; to conserve soil and provide recreation for their neighbors; and, at the same time, to produce the wood that America needs for thousands of useful products.
More than 58% of the productive forests in America are owned by ordinary citizens — not government or industry. These 10 million forest owners hold the key to the kind of forests future generations of Americans will enjoy.
Florida currently has more than 1,000 certified Tree Farms, accounting for approximately 1,000,000 acres of land.
To qualify for Tree Farm certification, woodlands must be:
- between 10 acres and 10,000 acres;
- under management, with a written and implemented plan that accounts for water quality, wildlife habitat, soil conservation and biodiversity, as well as production of forest products;
- protected from fire, insects, disease, and destructive grazing; and
- reforested in a timely manner after harvesting.
Tree Farmers must make good-faith efforts to:
- protect special sites and consider forest aesthetics;
- dispose of slash in an environmentally sound manner;
- use chemicals prudently; and
- contract with licensed and insured loggers and forest management contractors.
If you would like additional information on Tree Farm certification in Florida, or if you meet the qualifications outlined above and want to have your property inspected, please refer to the Tree Farm Districts map for the appropriate contact person in your area. You may also email us at Laura@FLForestry.org
For more information about the benefits of Tree Farming and the American Tree Farm System, please visit www.TreeFarmSystem.org.
2020 JON GOULD FLORIDA OUTSTANDING TREE FARMERS OF THE YEAR: DON ASHLEY AND THEO MEADOWS OF ASHLEY FARMS
Mr. Don Ashley and his sister, Ms. Theo Meadows, have transitioned their 570-acre multi-generational tobacco farm into a showcase of sustainable multiple-use management and habitat diversity in Madison County. A visit to Ashley Farms elicits awe of the family’s hard work to implement forestry practices that involve timber production and reforestation while improving wildlife habitat, soil and water conservation, and recreational opportunities. In recognition of their efforts, Ashley Farms has been selected as the 2020 Jon Gould Florida Outstanding Tree Farmer of the Year and serves as a model for encouraging other landowners to become great land stewards of their forests.