Become a Tree Farmer

So, you own a piece of New York …

Whether you purchased your forestland or it passed to you from another member of your family, you are now in a select group of individuals in the world who own forest property. But with that ownership comes many new choices and responsibilities. And those choices and responsibilities raise many questions.

What is the history and health of your forest? How should you manage it? What are your goals? Should trees be cut, thinned, or harvested? Are there other products of value in your woods? Can your trees be made more healthy or valuable?

Are you looking to go back to a “wilderness“? Should you construct trails for yourself or others to enjoy your woods? How do you do that?

How much wildlife do you have? Could that be improved? What about ponds and streams? Where are good sources of information on forestry for the layman? Can your goals and improvements be carried forward through future generations of your family?

Who can you talk to, to get educated/started? What is good stewardship? Why is it important? What does ethics have to do with the woods, and why do you have responsibilities?

The New York Tree Farm program can help you with all these aspects of forest ownership. Most importantly, it will help you become a good steward of the forest and understand the environmental consequences of your actions.

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. If you meet this basic requirement, take a look at the other pages on our site.

Getting Started with NYTF

1. Contact the Area Chair for the region where your woods are located. List of Area Chairs and the counties they cover.

2. Meet with an Inspecting Forester and walk through your property. Your Area Chair will help to connect you with an Inspecting Forester.

3. You must have a management plan in order to be a certified Tree Farm (if you don’t, your Inspecting Forester can help you create one; or make your own using Tree Farm’s My Land Plan).

4. If your property and plan meet Tree Farm performance standards, the Inspector completes the paperwork and your Area Chair and the NY State Chair sign off on it. The information will be entered into the National Tree Farm database. The National Tree Farm office will send you an official Tree Farm certificate and you are eligible for a sign, shown on left.

Welcome to NYTF!