COLUMBUS – The 10th annual National Tree Farmer convention will be held Oct. 16-19 in Columbus.
Woodland owners can learn about the latest developments affecting tree farmers, including carbon sequestration, timber harvesting and sales, forest products and the farm bill’s forestry provisions.
The convention will be held at the Columbus Hilton in Easton Town Center.
Sessions also include: tree plantings and improvement cuts, crop tree release, GPS and forest mapping, forest bat houses, filter strips, maple syrup and charcoal making, herbicide application, edible mushrooms and medicinal plants, ginseng.
Tree farm visit. Admission to the Lawhon Tree Farm field day is included in convention registration fee. This is a full day outdoors (9 a.m. to 3 p.m.) with no early returns.
While there is no additional charge, participants must reserve space.
Awards ceremony. The National Tree Farmer Convention culminates with the presentation of the regional and national Outstanding Tree Farmer of the Year awards.
Also recognized during the ceremony are the regional and national Tree Farm Inspectors of the Year.
Thursday workshops. For those interested in learning about timber taxes or environmental education, two optional workshops will take place Oct. 16.
Harry Haney, from Virginia Tech, leads timber tax for tree farmers, covering record keeping, capital expenditure recovery, tree farm operating and management expenses, taxation of tree farm income, and forestry cost-share payments.
Project Learning Tree, also on Thursday, is designed to help tree farmers learn how to share an environmental education approach.
Optional tours. The convention planning committee has arranged for four tours before and after the convention.
* Oct. 14-15: Grow It, Slice It, Bend It, Weave It; $110 per person, includes overnight lodging, bus transportation, and one lunch.
Participants will see hardwood slicing at Universal Veneer Lumber Company, basket weaving at Longaberger Homestead and oak bending at 77 Coach Supply, a business owned by an Amish tree farmer. Spend the night at the Carlisle Village Inn in Walnut Creek and visit a local cheese factory and Dick and Carol Potts’ Tree Farm.
* Vinton Furnace Experimental Forest: Visit one of the premier demonstration sites for forest landowners east of the Mississippi River.
Vinton Furnace Experimental Forest is owned by MeadWestvaco and co-managed with the U.S. Forest Service. It contains 11 forest stands. Also featured will be a study on fire and thinning, investigating their effect on oak regeneration and other components of the ecosystem.
* Wood, Logs to Products: $35; Venture into the largest Amish community in the world for a look at three forest product operations, owned and operated by the Amish.
Visit a re-saw shop that cuts wood to dimension for furniture manufacturing and other uses. It’s located on an actively managed 526-acre tree farm.
At the next stop, see how white pine logs are graded, kiln-dried, and milled for log homes and finally, visit a hardwood logging/sawmill operation certified by the Ohio Forestry Association and named Logger of the Year in 2001.
Post convention tour. Oct. 19-20: Paper, Iron and Herbs; $115 per person. This tour features a variety of forest-based sites, including a paper mill, a log yard, an iron furnace, and an educational center specializing in medicinal herbs.
Visit two MeadWestvaco facilities, a paper mill in Chillicothe and in Piketon, a log yard where you’ll learn how tree length logs are bucked for grade.
Next, explore the forestry-related history behind the iron furnaces of the late 1800s during the lunch stop at Buckeye Furnace, a reconstructed iron furnace that also includes a company store and a covered bridge.
A final stop visits the Rural Action Research and Education Center, which features research trials intended to show people how to cultivate and market forest-based renewable herbs, including ginseng, goldenseal and black cohosh.
Hotel accommodations. A block of rooms has been reserved at the Columbus Hilton adjacent to Easton Town Center.
The convention rate is $115 plus tax per night, which includes complimentary airport shuttle and free parking. Reservations must be made before Sept. 24 to get the preferred rate.
The National Tree Farmer convention is provided as an exclusive benefit to certified Tree Farmers and affiliates of the American Tree Farm System program. Pre-registration is required.
The final deadline is Sept. 15. for information contact Stephanie Brown at 202-463-2733 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Information is also available at www.treefarmsystem.org/aboutus/convention.cfm.
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