A Farm with No Animals? You Bet, an Oregon Tree Farm
Say the word, “farm” and you instantly envision cuddly baby goats, muddy pigs, fresh milk from dairy cows, and rows of corn or crops. When we say “farm”, we mean something with no animals, we mean a tree farm. Believe it or not, Christmas trees are the 12th ranked commodity in Oregon according to the National Agriculture Statistics Service and Oregon is the number one provider of Christmas trees in the United States. But, as we all know, we’ve got a whole lot more than Christmas trees around here and it just so happens, many other types of tree farms and one organization doing their best support sustainable forest practices.
What is a Tree Farm Exactly?
A tree farm is basically a privately owned forest which is grown and managed for a specific purpose. While it’s easy to identify a Christmas tree farm and understand what those perfectly trimmed trees are going to be used for, other tree farms may not be as obvious. Wood products are used every day in countless applications, from the paper cup that holds our coffee to the wood floors in our homes and everything in between, types of tree farms are also varied. Different trees and varieties of wood are needed for each function and tree farms generally specialize in one type.
There’s a lot more that goes into a tree farm than planting several hundred yearling and waiting for them to grow, as well as many more benefits than the end product. Tree farms help conserve old growth and the ecosystems that depend on them by providing a renewable source of timber. Tree farms also improve an area’s water quality and reduce erosion problems. Additionally, the trees that grow within a tree farm and the products that are made from them have proven to sequester more Co2 than unmanaged forests. Those who own and manage a tree farm are held to high standards by third party certification organizations including Forest Stewardship Council, The Sustainable Forestry Initiative and the The American Tree Farm System. These organizations ensure that private woodland owners have a management plan in place, recognise the wildlife and their habitat in an area, maintain water quality and employ sustainable harvest practices.
Oregon Tree Farm System Helps Tree Farmers
We are lucky enough to have an organization in Oregon who helps both large and small tree farm operations, the Oregon Tree Farm System. Here’s a quote from their website describing what they do,
“The Oregon Tree Farm System is a non-profit organization affiliated with the National Tree Farm System and American Forest Foundation. Our purpose is to help private forest landowners manage their lands with the goals of conserving forests, water, and wildlife while promoting natural resources based recreational opportunities. We support the responsible harvesting of renewable natural resources and the Oregon Wood Products Industry”
So what sorts of tree farms will you find in their group? All sorts! Because, the requirements are simple. You must have at least 10 acres of land that is forested or capable of supporting trees – that’s it. Outside of that, all you need is to fill out a bit of paperwork, provide a written management plan, and demonstrate sustainable foresting practices on your property. If that sounds daunting, there are professionals who can help. The Oregon Tree Farm System can get you in touch with a forester to help get a plan in place, and you’ll become a Pioneer Tree Farm. All of this is provided at no cost, yes, for free. The Tree Farm System is the oldest and only cost-free sustainable forestry certifying organization. Need more of a reason to think about joining? Watch this video.
It is important to keep our forests healthy, for both the trees and the future of our planet. In this video, Fred Schenk from Schenk Tree Farms explains the benefits of an Oregon Tree Farm System Membership. There’s also some great imagery from several tree farms that are already a part of the Oregon Tree Farm System.
The Oregon Tree Farm System has some powerful partners in the National Tree Farm System and American Forest Foundation. Explore their sites to see the good work they are doing to help promote forests all across the country.
ArborPro Tree Experts and Oregon Tree Farms
ArborPro Tree Experts has the technical skills needed to help facilitate the process of becoming a certified tree farm. Check out what we can do for you by implementing woodlot management programs. These programs help develop short and long term goals like clearing unwanted vegetation and tree planting to help reduce the chance of fire and control disease.
Weather you have a forest of one tree in your your yard or many many acres, ArborPro Tree Experts has the expertise and equipment to properly care for your investment. If you have any questions or would like a free estimate, feel free to give us a call or contact us online.