Charles Vickers grew up in the woods of Bickle’s Cove off between Highways 5 and 14 south of Mountain View. Now in his retirement years, he devotes significant effort maintaining woodlands on the 300 acres that includes a portion homesteaded by his ancestors.
A certified tree farmer, he was named 2022 District 8 Outstanding Tree Farmer this year after being nominated by County Forester Kenny Smothers. The district includes 16 counties across northeast Arkansas from Marion and Searcy counties eastward. He will be considered for a statewide award to be announced in October.
The Vickers property includes 150 acres on the west side of Cove Road, and 150 acres on the east side, where he and his wife, Martha, live part-time on Old McIntire Road. They have acquired it in parcels as it became available. While some had been planted in pine at one point by Deltic Timber, the acreage overall had not been maintained.
He bought some heavy equipment and cleaned it up between 2006 and 2012, planting old fields in pine and reforesting rocky hillsides in shortleaf pine and oak. There are sage grass fields for quail and turkey, and there are food plots within the forest.
His history with tree farming began longer ago, when they lived in Prairie County, where Martha is from. Charles said he was looking for a way to prevent the property from growing up in sweet gum trees when he learned about the forestry program and subsidies offered for tree planting.
He began tree farming in 1992 in Prairie County, and is a former district honoree for that region. Establishing acreage in Stone County as a certified tree farm was the logical move when it came time to improve the property.
The Arkansas Tree Farm Program is affiliated with the American Tree Farm System (ATFS). ATFS is a program of the American Forest Foundation and is committed to sustaining forests, watersheds, and healthy habitats through the power of private stewardship. The four sides of the Tree Farm sign - Water, Wildlife, Recreation, and Wood - tell the story of sustainable forestry.
See the full story in the May 25 issue.
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