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McCollum Land Company Tree Farm Tour
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When: Friday, October 26, 2018
10:00 AM
Where: McCollum Land Company
961 Columbia #2E
Emerson, Arkansas  71740
United States
Contact: Jennifer Lambert Johnson

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Tree Farm Tour at McCollum Land Company

Emerson, Arkansas

Friday, October 26, 2018
10:00 a.m.
to 1 p.m.


The McCollum Land Company, Inc. was established to oversee the management of the McCollum family tree farm in Columbia County, Arkansas. The company is comprised of 72 shareholders and currently has members that make up the 5th generation of the McCollum family with at least 2 more generations in place for future roles. The tree farm is comprised of 760 acres of pine timberland. The original farm was obtained prior to the American Civil War by John C McCollum. The farm has undergone many changes over the years to coincide with the variable land uses such as row cropping, livestock grazing, and growing vegetable crops. The farm has always had portions that were timbered, but in the 1960’s, it was decided that best route for the farm would be exclusively for timberland. Although the McCollum Land Company, Inc. was established to keep the land together as one entity, the remarkable story here is that the land is actually what is keeping the family together. The company has an annual gathering that is attended by approximately 100 people and they have been doing this for over 30 years now. These gatherings allow the Board of Directors to address the shareholders with the current state of the tree farm and to discuss management decisions. These meetings have enabled multiple generations and extended family members to get to know each other and give each member, regardless of there share of the company a sense of belonging that is unique in today’s world. As the years have gone by, the Board of Directors have struggled with how to go forward as a family and a farm but is plowing new ground for a new generation of shareholders. As a family farm, they have always been committed to sustainable forestry and agriculture.


The primary management goal is to produce quality pulpwood and saw timber through properly timed pruning, thinning, and prescribed burning. Although past management goals were set for long rotation natural stands of timber, with recent developments in varietal and control mass pollinated genetics, the company is transitioning to shorter rotation plantations. For several years now, stands that were 50 years old or more have been harvested and replanted using genetically improved seedlings. Over the past 10 years, around 300 acres have been regenerated as they have liquidated the older stands. Most of the tree planting is now done by machine, some of which is completed by family members utilizing their own equipment. Family members have also performed pre-commercial thinning, pruning, prescribed burning, and boundary line maintenance activities. Pruning activities has allowed them to economically mark cull trees prior to the first thinning. Commercial thinning is properly planned to provide room to grow and to improve diameter growth. Timberland cannot be managed without access, so the family invested to improve the road system within their tree farm to improve the access and make the stands more marketable.


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