Tree Farm Program

American Tree Farm System


The American Tree Farm System
We grow stewardship from the roots.


The American Tree Farm System is a nationwide community of nearly 60,000 landowners linked by a desire to promote effective woodland management.  This includes continuous tree crop production to supply our nation's wood products needs, while simultaneously maintaining the forests' beauty and wildlife benefits. 

Tree farmers play a critical role in our economy. An estimated 58% of all timber harvested in the United States comes from non-industrial private woodlands.  These are lands owned by individuals, not the government or timber companies. Tree farms are also valuable to their communities. They can provide wildlife habitat, watershed protection, and even recreational opportunities.

Basha Family 2019 Tree Farmer of the Year     Sharon and Tom Bennion, 2016 NM Tree Farmers of the Year 

      2019 NM Tree Farmer's of the Year, Lloyd & Debora Basha     2016 New Mexico Tree Farmers of the Year, Sharon & Tom Bennion 

Certified tree farmers typically own a minimum of ten forested acres. To qualify for certification, they must have their land inspected by one of the 10,000 foresters who volunteer with the American Tree Farm System. At a minimum, lands are re-inspected every five years to assure proper management.

Committees operate the American Tree Farm System in each participating state.  The national system is an American Forest Foundation program, administered by the American Forest Council. It is supported by private donations and contributions from the forest products industry.

Basha Windbreak Tree Farm
Basha family windbreak Tree Farm tour 2019


Certified tree farmers have great pride and satisfaction in protecting their forestry interests. They improve woodlands and supply the economic demand for forest industry products. When certified, tree farmers receive the iconic green and white Tree Farm sign, indicating keen forest management and conservation practices.

Tree farms produce a significant quantity of timber and income. Certified tree farmers may also qualify for a real estate tax deduction.

Tree farmers enjoy their forests. Many are personally involved with planting and tending. Others take their pleasure in the recreation and scenery.

Starefire Tree Farm  Tree Farm Signs

Getting Started
Solid forest management begins with a land assessment and developing a forest management plan. A professional forester can provide guidance in these matters.

A free inspection of your woodlands can be arranged with your local NMSF district office.

To qualify for Tree Farm certification, the woodlands must be:

  • ten acres or more
  • managed for the production of timber and other forest products
  • protected from fire, insects, disease, and destructive grazing

Pioneer Tree Farm Program
Managed forest land that does not qualify for full Tree Farm certification may be eligible for the Pioneer Tree Farm Program. The development of a written management plan and its successful execution will assist Pioneer Tree Farms in obtaining full certification.

Tree Farm
Cottonwood Gulch Expeditions



Contact your local district office

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New Mexico Tree Farm System
American Tree Farm System
Backyard Tree Farm Program
Other Links

Tree Farm Bulletins
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March 2021
February 2021

January 2021

Interested in starting a Christmas Tree Farm? The NMSF Conservation Seedling Program can help you grow your farm from the roots up!


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