2018 Indiana Tree Farmer of the Year

Brent Clary of Lafayette, Indiana is the 2018 Tree Farmer of the Year. Clary has practiced sustainable forestry for about 40 years and been in the national Tree Farm System for about 28 years. He was selected for long term intensive management for timber and wildlife while providing educational opportunities. Clary accepted the award at the Tree Farm Breakfast at the Indiana Hardwood Lumberman’s Association convention in Indianapolis on February 5, 2019.

The forest management has been guided by professional foresters and keeping the management plan current with the most recent revision in 2017. Foresters regularly inspected the woodlands including insects and disease. Emerald ash borer attacked the ash trees and all merchantable ash trees were harvested in 2017.

The 82.4 acre tree farm has been intensively managed over the years yielding over 268,000 board feet and 45 cords of firewood from timber harvests. Cutting methods have included thinning, selection, and clearcutting. Timber stand improvement has been conducted throughout the tree farm and 15 acres were planted to hardwoods. An additional 2.4 acres were planted for wildlife to develop riparian buffer.

Clary has shared his woodland management experiences with others by hosting an “annual woods walk” for over 35 years with other landowners and foresters. The Indiana Department of Natural Resources has used his woods for CFM District Forester training, specifically crown competition factor training for thinning walnut.

Previously Clary received the Sycamore Trails RC&D “Woodland Owner of the Year” award in 1998 and 2012. In 2010 this property was inspected as part of the national Tree Farm System audit as one of Indiana’s representative tree farms. Most recently in 2017 the woodland was selected for the Charles Deam District 5 award.

The Tree Farmer of the Year is sponsored by Indiana Tree Farm. Recognition of outstanding professionalism in sustainable forestry practices is one of their objectives. Education is the other objective. Awardees are selected by the Indiana Tree Farm Committee which has 31 members representing a cross section of forestry professionals in the state.

Ken Day is retired Forest Supervisor of the Hoosier National Forest.