This years’ Tree Farm Conference was held April 13-14. The event commenced on Friday afternoon at the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) Northeast Regional Office in Kirksville, MO. Matt Jones, Missouri Tree Farm Committee Chair, introduced Laurie Coleman, Executive Director for the Forest and Woodland Association of Missouri (FWAM). FWAM was founded in 2011 as a public advocacy voice for privately owned woodlands, to promote healthy, productive and sustainable forests and trees. They also administrator the Missouri Tree Farm System. Jones also introduced Lisa Allen, MDC Forestry Division Chief, who welcomed attendees.

David Watson, Independent Financial Advisor with D.A. Watson & Company and Hank Stelzer, State Forestry Extension Specialist with the School of Natural Resources at the University of Missouri started off the afternoon with a presentation on Tree Farm Succession Planning. They discussed the importance of key tools and legal approaches to sustaining and transferring family forestland.

Robbie Doerhoff, MDC Forest Entomologist, shared information on Forest Health Updates in Missouri. She discussed common diseases and pests effecting our native trees, including identification tips and management possibilities. Damaging pests, fluctuating weather patterns, and invasive species all play key roles in the health of our woodlands.

Danny Hartwig, MDC Forestry Regional Supervisor/ CWD Mandatory Sampling Incident Commander, provided a session on Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) Update and Management. CWD is a deadly illness in white-tailed deer and other members of the deer family, called cervids. The disease has been found in Missouri and is slowly spreading. CWD kills all deer and other cervids it infects.

Hank Stelzer ended the afternoon programs with a discussion on White Oak Status in Missouri. Sources of Oak regeneration are seedlings, seedling sprouts, and stump sprouts. The key to oak regeneration success is abundant & large advance reproduction.

Friday evening was filled with much camaraderie as guests enjoyed a social, silent auction and award ceremony. Mike Morris, MDC Forest Products Supervisor presented the Outstanding Tree Farm Inspectors with plaques and Matt Jones awarded Garry Gordon and Elaine De Jovin as the 2017 Tree Farmers of the Year. Garry and Elaine have actively managed their Putnam County property for timber and wildlife for nearly 35 years. They have been Tree Famers for 31 years and have completed management on nearly every acre of their 142-acre property.


On Saturday morning approximately 40 attendees met at the Savannah Ridge Tree Farm where they were greeted by hosts Garry and Elaine. The morning was a little damp and muddy but that didn’t deter attendees on the walking tour. Craig Williamson, MDC Private Land Conservationist, along with MDC Forester Phil Sneed and MDC Resource Forester Richard Nesslar gave presentations on hardwood management, harvesting (group openings, clear-cuts, select harvests), timber stand improvement, food plots and prescribed fires. The afternoon concluded with lunch and a little sunshine.

Thank you to all the presenters and especially to Garry Gordon and Elaine De Jovin for their hospitality.

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2019 Missouri Tree Farm Conference

Details coming soon...