2004 Outstanding Tree Farmer of the Year

Willard Walker of Canaan has been selected “Outstanding Tree Farmer for 2004.” With 739 acres of tree farm in three towns Willard (Bill) and his family have been Tree Farmers since 1958. Of the 739 acres, 117 have been planted to white pine, red pine, white spruce and Norway spruce. Bill rode the tree planter, planting his fields to trees between 1958 and 1962. A few acres are still in field or pasture.

In managing the Tree Farm, wife Perch keeps track of the records while Bill continues to prune trees and oversees other aspects of forest management. Chris, son of Bill and Perch, earns his living using timber harvesting machinery to harvest forest products, and marketing skills to sell products. One specialty market for the Walker’s is a cedar decking product, of which they produce using the services of a portable custom sawmill company.

Consulting forester, Darren Turner, assisted the Walkers in applying for Outstanding Tree Farmer. The Walkers will be competing for the national Outstanding Tree Farmer. Runners up for Maine, include Walter Gooley of Farmington and the York Water District, of which both Tree Farms are also exemplary in regard to forest stewardship.