October 15, 2003 | By: Aimee D. Heald
FLEMING COUNTY, Ky.
trees around water

Hutton-Lloyd Tree Farm is a model of a multi-use enterprise.

In a storybook-like atmosphere where more than 50,000 Christmas trees grow close to Kentucky hardwood staples like ash, walnut and oak, foresters, loggers and landowners shared ideas and learned about the forest and the environment.

The University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service joined forces with the Kentucky Division of Water, Kentucky Department of Agriculture and Kentucky Division of Forestry to offer a hands-on field day of ground-level training at the Hutton-Lloyd Tree Farm between Morehead and Flemingsburg. Mike Jackson, Fleming County Extension agent for agriculture and natural resources, said the day of training was aimed at local producers and especially Master Loggers. 

“This will allow Master Loggers to catch up on their CEUs, (continuing education credits) correct operating procedures and best management practices in our woodlands,” he said. “Local woodland owners are also here learning what they can do with their wood, how to upgrade their timber and make it produce for them.”

Jackson readily admits the hardwood industry is vital to the economy of northeastern Kentucky. Two of the three largest hardwood mills in the state are located in the area.

“We’re trying to teach how to plant this hardwood timber back and get it restored in this area,” he said. “We’re dealing with a lot of second and third-grade timber in a lot of our woodlots and we want to upgrade that to number one timber.”

He said the area has a lot of load-rate timber and pallet mills, but he wants to see the area producing more high-grade timber because the resources are there.

Kevin Galloway of the state Division of Forestry climbed into the woods with participants at the field day to discuss how the forest grows and how to improve growth rates and overall forest health. He believes woodlands are the most underutilized resource in eastern Kentucky.

“A lot of people just use their woodlands for recreation,” he said. “But there are a lot of things they can do to improve their recreation ability. They can get other benefits of wildlife and timber and improve water quality at the same time.”

Landowners learned how their actions in the forest can affect every part of the environment from the trees and soil, to water quality and wildlife habitats. Jackson said they are trying to teach people how to harvest their woodlands without damaging the woodlands and polluting the local watershed. He stressed they also are learning to balance timber harvest with fish and wildlife environments.

Aside from the natural outdoor classroom Hutton-Lloyd provides, it also serves as a good example of a multiple-use enterprise.

“This place plays into agritourism well,” Jackson said. “They have a cut-your-own tree operation and also bonfires, hayrides and other things for the kids. It’s a good way to attract tourism to Fleming County.”

Galloway said the farm is an excellent example of an effective long-term management plan and multi-use farm.

“Hopefully today some of the landowners will learn a few things,” he said. “And hopefully they will see how important it is to have a management plan.”

Contact: 

Writer: Aimee D. Heald 859-257-4736, ext. 267
Source: Frank Hicks 859-744-4682