Pleasanton physician's restored forest to host Oct. 5th event

PLEASANTON -- Recognized as the 2007 Forest Stewardship Tree Farmer of the Year, Dr. Jay Allen, Pleasanton, has planted 25,400 trees on 107 acres and has improved the forest health on almost half of his 114-acre tree farm. He is also eager to help promote sustainable forest management.

Landowners who are interested in the Allen Tree Farm will have the opportunity to see the tree plantings and forestland first hand on Friday, Oct. 5, at the Fall Forestry Field Day. This event provides tree farmers, landowners, loggers, farmers, ranchers, foresters, and other natural resource professionals a chance to share knowledge about forestry.

The day will begin about 9 a.m. with an overview of Dr. Allen’s forestry projects. Connie Robinson-Clemons, Kansas Forest Service district forester, will lead a session on thinning and pruning trees to maintain forest health. Charles Barden, K-State extension forester, will discuss how to properly collect, handle, and store tree seed for people interested in establishing forests in that manner. Charlie Lee, K-State extension wildlife damage control specialist, will provide participants the latest information and techniques to control deer and other wildlife that damage young tree plantations. Ryan Neises, Kansas Forest Service watershed forester, will demonstrate how to control weed competition in new tree plantings.

Refreshments and lunch will be provided for a $5 pre-registration fee. To register, send a check to the Kansas Forest Service, 2610 Claflin RD, Manhattan, KS, 66502. Information is also available here, or by calling Bob Atchison at 785-532-3310, or by emailing

Allen has received financial assistance through the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) to plant trees. The program provides rental payments that vary from $30 to $45 per acre in the western part of the state to $60 to $95 in the eastern half. These payments occur each year for the life of the contract, which can extend to15 years.

A producer who enrolls 10 acres in the eastern half of the state has the potential to receive between $9,750 to $15,000 during the life of the contract while growing commercially valuable trees like black walnut. Landowners also receive a $5 per acre maintenance payment and a signing incentive payment of $10 per acre for each year of the contract. Additionally, 50 percent of the expense to purchase and plant trees and control weeds for two years after planting is cost-shared.

CRP funding varies depending on the particular practice and the location. CRP is administered through local Farm Services Agency (FSA) offices and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), which provides technical services and land eligibility determinations. Allen’s tree planting was one of the first through CRP in Bourbon County.

“I think it was a learning experience for all of us,” Allen said. “Because of CRP, I was able to plant larger areas to trees that would have otherwise taken me years to afford."