Tennessee Tree Farm Program Essentials

PROGRAM ESSENTIALS

Before contacting Tennessee Tree Farm please insure you have the minimum forest area necessary to be in the program. You must have a minimum of 10 acres (11-12 if your house is on the property) and it must be privately owned.

Once you have contacted us to be come a Tree Farmer, this is what happens:

Tennessee Tree Farm, Tennessee Forestry Association, and Tennessee Division of Forestry believe that the relationship between a forest landowner and the forester is the most important factor of becoming, and remaining a successful Tree Farmer. That individual is your key to education, advice, and assistance in recognizing, developing, and reaching your goals for your forest. Tennessee Forestry Association undertakes the responsibility to recommend competent foresters or a repersentative to help begin the process. 

  Once you and your forester have agreed on the direction your TF should take, he or she will develop a Forest Management Plan (FMP) for your forest outlining the forest’s present condition, your goals, and how the goals are to be achieved.

 A Tree Farm is, again, privately owned forest that is managed for wood, water, wildlife, and recreation. The owner determines which aspects are to be emphasized. Additional benefits include improved habitat, watershed protection, outdoor recreation, and aesthetic values. To become a Certified Tree Farm a forest must:

Contain a minimum of 10 acres 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 Forest Management Plan, every 5 years, or less.

Those beginning the process of becoming a Certified Tree Farm may first be designated a Pioneer Tree Farm, but must graduate to “Certified” status within 5 years (see Pioneer).

Those not graduating or those Certified Tree Farm’s that do not successfully complete required inspections in a timely manner fall to a “Member” status until the deficiencies are rectified.

Properties sold, divided, developed, or violating objectives in the Forest Management Plan are immediately removed from the program.

Once accepted into the program your progress is largely your, and your foresters responsibility, depending on many factors including costs, resources available, weather, timing, market and forest health conditions, your willingness to get involved in the actual work, and the size of the forest. Your forester is required to evaluate your progress every five (5) years. On or about that anniversary your forester will complete an Form with his evaluation. A successful evaluation means continued designation as a Certified TF for the next 5 years.

Sometimes a little self-help goes a long way in answering questions. And most successful Tree Farmers do not rely on Tennessee Tree Farm Program or their forester to answer all their questions or provide all their education. 

If  you are interested in becoming a Tennessee Tree Farmer please visit our contact page to contact Tennessee Forestry Association or your local Forestry.