Becoming a Certified Tree Farmer

The American Tree Farm System (ATFS) is a unique certification program designed specifically for landowners who actively manage woodlands between 10 and 10,000 acres in size in the United States. The ATFS Certification system is internationally recognized, and the certified ATFS sign tells your community, and the world, that you are meeting the highest standards of sustainablilty and being good stewards for the future.



To become a Certified Tree Farmer, landowners must commit to upholding the Standards of Sustainability  and demonstrate their commitment to long-term sustainable forest management by having and implementing a written forest management plan. Read further to learn what a qualifying forest management plan must include.


After you apply for certification and every 5 years after, a professional forester will come to your property for an inspection and review your management plan and your tree farm in order to verify that you meet the required sustainability standards.


Landowners should review their management plan annually to be sure it reflects the current conditions on their tree farm.  The N.C. Tree Farm Program requires certified Tree Farms to be inspected and recertified every five years in order to maintain certification. Continue here for helpful information to maintain your plan and your certification.