Plymouth Tree Farm Tour April 28th Highlights 56 Years of Sustainable Forest Management
April 24, 2008 | Massachusetts Forestry Association |
Plymouth – In 1952 when Dwight Eisenhower first ran for president, cranberry grower A.D. Makepeace Company had the 10,000 acres of woodlands surrounding its cranberry bogs first certified as a Tree Farm. Today, more than 50 years and nine presidents later, Makepeace is still continuing the tradition of sustainable forest management on 4,000 acres of pine woodlands in Plymouth County.
On Monday, April 28th, Makepeace officials will be presented with a 50-year anniversary Tree Farm sign to recognize the company’s long-time history of forest management in Plymouth County at their Barker River Bog property just south of the intersection of Halfway Pond Road and Wareham Road. As part of the ceremony, forester Philip Benjamin will lead a tour of a nearby Makepeace woodland to show some of the forest management practices used. The ceremony and tour will begin at 11 a.m.
The Makepeace Tree Farm is one of more than 500 woodlands in Massachusetts currently certified as Tree Farms by the American Tree Farm System. All Tree Farms are required to meet national standards for sustainable forest management and must try to improve wildlife habitat and protect watersheds while growing trees for timber or other forest products.
The Makepeace Company has a long history of utilizing its woodlands to support its cranberry operations. For many years, the company planted white pines that were grown to supply timber
that was eventually sawed into boards used to make boxes for cranberries. Even after the box making operations were shut down, the company continued to plant white pines, and thin and prune them to improve their growth and form. The income from timber harvests helped to balance out the ups and downs from fluctuations in cranberry prices.
Today the Makepeace woodlands are managed to grow white pine for timber and to protect important wildlife habitats. While some of the Makepeace lands are being proposed for eventual development, other lands, including a 3,600-acre woodland straddling three towns, Plymouth, Wareham and Carver, are being managed under a long-term sustainable forestry plan to produce quality pine timber.
“The Makepeace Company should be recognized for managing their woodlands on a long-term basis in a difficult environment given the development pressures in Plymouth County,” said Gregory Cox, executive director of the Massachusetts Forest Landowners Association, the non-profit forest conservation organization which sponsors the Tree Farm program in Massachusetts. “In a state where the average property changes hands every 10 years or less, to have continued to keep woodlands as productive forest for more than 50 years is a considerable achievement. Their stewardship of their woodlands has improved the forest and protected some important wildlife habitats, while still earning periodic income from their land, by working with a forester to manage their land for the long-term. This long-term approach is exactly what the Tree Farm program tries to recognize and encourage.”
Directions: Barker River Bog is located just south of the intersection of Halfway Pond Road and Wareham Road in Plymouth.
For more information, contact MFLA at (413) 339-5526.