Harry and Helen Spellman, Tree Farmers of the Year 2009

Venango County, 331 Acres

On Saturday, October 3, 2009, at the Pennsylvania Forestry Association (PFA) Annual Dinner Meeting in Essington, PA the Tree Farm Committee honored Harry and Helen Spellman as the state's Outstanding Tree Farmers of 2009. In 1994 the Spellman's, of Wexford, PA, acquired a 331-acre woodlot in Venango County. Working with foresters identified through the PA Bureau of Forestry they embarked on removing grapevine and other invasive plants.

In 1997, they approached Consulting Forester, John Daugherty to manage a potential timber sale. At that time, John advised them on problems with their previously unmanaged forest, things that would be aggravated unless they did work in advance of the sale. John prepared a management plan incorporating their objectives to enhance timber value and wildlife habitat. With this information and direction, Harry and his son, Harry, Jr., spent several years preparing for their first timber sale. The sale occurred in 2006, primarily for the purpose of enhancing the property. A timber stand improvement sale also took place in 2008.

It was such a pleasure to meet this active senior couple when we visited their forest this summer. The amount of work dedicated to the principles of the Tree Farm Program convinced the Committee that the Spellman's selection as Outstanding Tree Farmers is well-deserved.