Hannibal residents recognized as Outstanding Tree Farmers of the Year

  • Published: Monday, Sept. 28, 2020

COLUMBIA, Mo. – The Forest and Woodland Association of Missouri (FWAM) and the Missouri Tree Farm System will honor Art and Jana Suchland, of Hannibal, at the virtual Annual Tree Farm Conference on Oct. 20.

The event, originally set to be in Hannibal this year, will be offered as a Zoom event 6:30-8:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 20, said University of Missouri Extension forester Hank Stelzer. Visit forestandwoodland.org/missouritreefarmconference for details.

This event offers information about the benefits of managing woodland areas and the Missouri Tree Farm System, part of a national program for woodland owners committed to sustainably managing forested property for wood, water, wildlife and recreation.

FWAM and the Missouri Tree Farm System named the Suchlands the 2019 Outstanding Tree Farmers of the Year. The award recognizes private landowners for exceptional forest management and actively promoting sustainable forestry.

A small planning group toured the Suchland property in Ralls County after the conference switched to a virtual format due to COVID-19. Rick Merritt and David Vance of the Missouri Tree Farm Committee presented a plaque to the Suchlands.

The Suchlands bought their property in 1987. The family enjoys hiking and ATV riding along forest trails, camping, bird-watching, playing in the rocky creek bottom of Hippo Branch, and hunting deer and turkey.

Over the past few decades, the property benefited from conservation-minded practices such as timber stand improvement projects, invasive species control, regulated forest harvest, tree plantings and prunings.

“Today, much of the forest is at the tipping point of becoming very robust and productive,” Stelzer said. “Most of the stands have a good amount of relatively young oak and walnut trees. In some locations there are mature red oak group species having tree decline issues. Older, mature white oak and swamp white oak trees produce acorns for wildlife and tree regeneration.”

Founded in 2011, the Forest and Woodland Association of Missouri is “a public advocate for privately owned woodlands, to promote healthy, productive and sustainable forests and trees,” according to the FWAM website.

The Missouri Tree Farm System is a program for landowners who own more than 10 acres of woodland and follow an approved management plan.

For more information, visit ForestandWoodland.org or email [email protected].

Photo available for this release:

Jana and Art Suchland of Hannibal received the Outstanding Tree Farmer of the Year award from the Forest and Woodland Association of Missouri and the Missouri Tree Farm System. Photo courtesy of Forest and Woodland Association of Missouri.

Writer: Linda Geist

Media Contact

Hank Stelzer

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