Richard Cangialosi was recently certified as a tree farmer with the American Forest Foundation. Starting in 1941, Pennsylvania joined the American Tree Farm System (ATFS) to recognize those forest owners that managed their forests under the direction of a Forester "according to the ATFS Standards of Forest Sustainability". To date, there are over 223 tree farmers here in Pennsylvania with over 54,000 acres.

Rick works for a commercial airline flying all over the world. In his many flights over the years, the one thing that he noticed looking down from the jetliner was all the forest land here in Pennsylvania.

His dream was to someday call some of that land his own, and on December 29, 1998 Rick purchased 205 acres in Preston Township, Wayne County.

He soon met with Service Forester Jack Gearhart, with the DCNR Bureau of Forestry. Jack introduced him to the care and management of his forest and taught him that his woods were just a big garden of trees.

Over the next few years Rick and his son Jeff did timber stand improvement (TSI), to weed out the forest garden, planted over a thousand Norway, White and Blue Spruce seedlings, built 2 deer fence enclosures of approximately 1 acre to learn about the effects deer browsing has on forest regeneration, planted apple trees, Flowering Dogwood and American Chestnut seedlings. Rick’s love for his land grew with his companion dog, Toby, accompanying him. When he was not flying, he and Toby would walk through the woods enjoying the work that was completed, the wildlife that he would see and the dream someday of building his home on the property.

In October 2015, he met with Consulting Forester, Craig Olver, with Forest Care LLC. With his dog Toby, Rick walked with Craig Olver to review the work he completed and to discuss the future care on his woods. Craig recommended a crown thinning commercial timber/pulpwood harvest. Together they identified the trees that needed to be removed, developed an inventory, and then they put this track of timber out to bid.

Diaz Forest Products bought the timber/pulpwood and Aaron Rutledge harvested the timber for the lumber company. This harvest improved the health of the forest by giving room for root and crown expansion for the future crop trees, developed a network of trails, released apple trees and mast trees to provide natural food for the native wildlife living on or near his tree farm. 

The American Tree Farm System is a national program with tree farms in 42 states in the United States to promote good forest stewards of the land. The tree farm sign is a symbol of the values placed on land: recreation, wildlife, water and wood.

As a woodland owner, you want to do right by your land. Yet, you face more challenges than ever: insect and diseases in your woods, invasive plants, and severe weather and development pressures. Meeting those challenges requires ongoing information, tools, and on-the ground assistance to help make the best decisions. For additional information contact Forest Specialist Kelley Stewart with the Wayne Conservation District at 570-253-0930; Forester Craig Olver with Forest Care LLC at 570-253-4161, or go to the Pennsylvania State Tree Farm website at patreefarm.org.