The Maine Forest Service Proudly Supports the Maine Tree Farm Program and the American Tree Farm System

The American Tree Farm System (ATFS) was founded in 1941 and is the oldest and largest forest conservation, certification, and advocacy program in the United States. The first two Tree Farms in Maine were dedicated in 1952 and today there are approximately 1500 Tree Farmers in the state.

Certified Tree Farmers voluntarily manage their woods according to the American Forest Foundation Standards of SustainabilityExternal Link. They pride themselves on their well-managed forests - where they grow and harvest forest products, enhance forest health and wildlife habitat, and provide recreational opportunities, clean air and water, while meeting their own personal goals.

Learn more about becoming a member of the Maine Tree Farm ProgramExternal Link.

  • John Starrett and Harvey Chesley, with Pine Tree Camp's Outstanding Tree Farmer of the Year plaque, stand by the Maine Tree Farm display
  • Lee Stover, Cold Spring Farm, Waldo
  • Moose at Nelson Tree Farm, Kingsbury Plantation
  • Musquash Farm, Grand Lake Stream
  • Official Tree Farm sign instructions
  • Tree Farm signs circa 1952

Excerpts of remarks by Doug Denico, Director, Maine Forest Service, during the presentation of the 2015 Maine Outstanding Tree Farmer Award:

“We know that considerable forestland in Maine is under very sporadic management and many folks including the Maine Forest Service have attempted to find ways to increase timely and appropriate management on a very significant part of Maine. For someone reluctant to manage their lands, what better example can we use than Maine’s Outstanding Tree FarmersExternal Link to instill the desire and confidence to manage their forest lands?”

The fact is thousands of landowners are hands-on owners and get a great deal of pleasure from doing it. You can see their work isn’t for the faint of heart! For some, I’m sure the enjoyment of harvesting fir pulpwood and firewood will forever be a mystery. Why would anyone get a kick out of working so hard? I will leave the analysis of this pleasure to others…

How do we transfer the ethics and hard work performed by Tree Farmers to forest land owners reluctant to manage their ownership?

I believe one of the best ways is to showcase what Maine’s Tree Farmers have accomplished to as many folks as possible. To this end, the MFS is putting the Tree Farm forest management storyExternal Link in as prominent place on our web page as possible and refer to it as a shining example of the benefitsExternal Link of owning forest land. "

For videos and slide shows portraying a variety of Maine woodland owners engaged in long-term sustainable forest management, check out Profiles of Woodland Stewardship .