Pennsylvania Forestry Association News

Posted: July 14, 2017

PFA summer updates and increasing the use of social media

One of the things I enjoy is observing which tree or shrub produces a bumper seed crop in the fall and then produces seedlings in the following spring. This past fall, I observed black and scarlet oaks were the top producers in several parts of the state. Oaks range throughout the state and typically one of the species produces some acorns somewhere. One of the trees I have been observing since I moved to Polecat Hollow is the beautiful redbud (Cercis canadensis), which tends to produce an abundance of seedpods every year. Unfortunately, I don’t always see a large seedling crop. I can find a few seedlings in the bark mulch around the house. Little ones are much easier to distribute and plant so I like to dig them up, pot them, and give them away. My family members in Pittsburgh all have redbud trees in their yards and ordered more. This year our redbud trees produced the greatest abundance of seedlings I have ever seen. There are literally hundreds, if not thousands, growing everywhere around the property. Any place they could find a spot to grow they are filling a niche. The sun, the moon, and the stars came together for the redbud volunteers this year. 

The Pennsylvania Forestry Association is like a redbud. Every year we have volunteers working to make this organization work. Some of the volunteers sink some deep roots into a project, take charge, and sprout accomplishments all the members enjoy. The President and Vice-President agree to a two-year term and their terms are up this fall. Richard Lewis, our current Vice-President, will assume the President’s chair, and a volunteer has agreed to put roots down in the VP nomination slot. If you find that the climate is right for you to discover a niche in the PFA, please contact me to discuss a position on the board of directors or chair a committee. We do need a Tree Farmer to help the Tree Farm Committee coordinate outreach and communication. If you do volunteer to help the PA Forestry Association grow, you might just find some redbud seedlings on your doorstep.

Help Use Social Media to Spread the Word

Over the past year, the PFA and the PA Tree Farm Program have joined to develop a stronger bond for current and future Tree Farmers in Pennsylvania. The PFA wants to promote the values of the Tree Farm Program and is looking for assistance from forest landowners. The board of directors is asking that people submit videos, pictures, and stories to the Facebook page to help promote the program. If you have a Walk in Penn’s Woods this fall, undergo a Tree Farm inspection, or prune your pine stand this summer, take some photos or videos and share them on our Facebook page.

I would love for someone to pull their management plan off the shelf and discuss one plan objective. Go out and take some video of building a brush pile, laying out a trail, installing culvert pipes or any other management activity you think would be of interest to others. Over the last few years, I have used YouTube instructional videos for everything from fixing a garage door opener to growing mushrooms. Millions of people have done the same. Sharing information is a key ingredient to the success of the Tree Farm Program and a top objective of PFA. 

Take a moment and check out the video on the PFA Facebook page of a mature woman using a chainsaw without any, and I do mean any, knowledge of how to safely operate one of the most dangerous tools known, the chainsaw. The video shows her felling a tree wearing shorts and tennis shoes, albeit she is wearing gloves, and cuts through a spruce that flips up and over her head. She rejoices that the tree hit the ground but doesn’t seem to realize that she could have been killed in an instant. I counted 13 safety violations in this short video. Visit the page and watch the video, count how many violations you find. I bet you will put your hardhat and chaps on next time you fell a tree.

By using social media, you can really help promote forest stewardship, safety, and people having a good time in the woods. You can send items to the PFA office or simply post them yourself on our Facebook page.

For more information about the Pennsylvania Forestry Association or about becoming a member, visit the website or call 800-835-8065.

Contact Information

Gene Odato
  • PFA President