Looking to care for trees in a park or urban setting, tend to a Christmas tree farm, grow or sell timber, or manage an entire forest for multiple benefits? A forester can help. Foresters are formally-educated, specially-skilled professionals who can apply their knowledge and experience to help you achieve your objectives. At the same time, foresters work to safeguard the beauty, utility and sustainability of forests for future generations.
A forester can provide specialized knowledge and guidance pertaining to the management of trees and forests. Hundreds of foresters work across the Empire State in both the public and private sectors. However, foresters are as diverse in their specialized knowledge and experienced as the forest resource itself. Moreover, some people who call themselves "foresters" have no specialized training or experience at all: New York State has no legal standards (e.g. licensure) governing foresters, so anybody can call themselves one.
So how do you find the right (i.e., qualified) person for the job? Try one or all of the following:
First, get references from friends or neighbors who have used the services of a forester. Second, seek out a Certified Forester. Certified Foresters have earned a minimum of a Bachelor's degree in forestry or a related field plus five years of experience. Through participation in continuing education programs, they earn the right to use the Certified Forester (CF) credential administered by SAF. Learn more and find a list of Certified Foresters in New York by visiting the
SAF Certified Forester Program
You may also choose to look for a Forester who is enrolled in the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation's Cooperating Forester Program. These Foresters have earned at least a Bachelor's degree in forestry or a related field and have agreed to cooperate with the state to provide forest management assistance beyond the bounds of what public foresters are permitted to do on private lands.
Remember that there are hundreds of forestry professionals working across New York State, and not all of them choose to participate in the above-mentioned programs. Additional unbiased advice and/or references may be obtained through the following resources:
NYS DEC Private Forest Management Assistance
Watershed Agricultural Council - Forestry Program (in the NYC Watershed only)
More online forestry resources may be found on our links page.