2011 Outstanding Tree Farmer of the Year

~ Allen Higgins and Paula Hersom ~

2011Winners

Allen Higgins of Brunswick, “Logger, Sawmill Owner and Musician,” and 2011 Maine Tree Farmer of the Year and first runner-up Peter Kliem were honored at the Augusta Civic Center during the Maine Agricultural Trade Show and SWOAM annual meeting on January 12 while the snow fell fast and furiously outside.

Higgins has his own skidder, does his own logging and trucking and owns Higmo’s, where all lumber is manufactured on site with an early 1900’s circular sawmill and edger. Most of the logs sawed come from cutting commercial and house lots as well the mostly white pine on Higgins’ sixty acre Tree Farm, certified by his father in 1957. The public is welcome on the land and Higgins has put on a two-day event every fall for the last five years. “Saw Mill Days” attracts some 200 people a day and features antique equipment in use as well as displayed. Higgins also brings school groups to the site to tour the woodlot, observe logging and talk about sustainability, job opportunities and safety.

Kliem manages 135 acres in Big Moose Township on Moosehead Lake in Piscataquis County. He has been a tree farmer since 1972 and practices “European style forestry,” selecting his crop trees for fifty and eighty years from now and doing precommercial thinning on the rest of his land. He does tree planting and protects his hardwood saplings with tubes due to being in a deer conservation area. The public is welcome to use the trails on his woodlot.

The annual Outstanding Tree Farm Field Day will be held at Higmo’s in Brunswick this summer and will be open to the public.