Missouri tree farmer is regional award winner
A Missouri tree farmer is one of four regional finalists for “Outstanding Tree Farmer of the Year.”
“There are many, many good tree farms in Missouri and the North Central region so I’m thrilled that we were picked,” says Mike Trial, who has a 55-acre black walnut tree farm, started by his father near Columbia, Missouri.
He uses the select harvest method, “So, even after you’ve cut those trees for lumber, the forest still looks aesthetically pleasing.”
His challenges include a labor shortage being solved mostly by machinery. Recently, invasive plants are one of his most pressing problems, “The explosive growth of invasive species such as bush honeysuckle, Autumn Olive, Multiflora rose, Johnson grass, sericia lespedeza, has really begun to take up a lot of time for farmers like myself.”
Trial has begun using goats from a local company, Goats to Go, to eat those invasive plants down to the ground.
The American Tree Farm System will choose one of the four regional finalists as National Outstanding Tree Farmer of the Year.