Environmental Management

, Volume 55, Issue 2, pp 308–320 | Cite as

Typology of Ohio, USA, Tree Farmers Based Upon Forestry Outreach Needs

  • SE Starr
  • TE McConnellEmail author
  • JS Bruskotter
  • RA Williams


This study differentiated groups of Ohio tree farmers through multivariate clustering of their perceived needs for forest management outreach. Tree farmers were surveyed via a mailed questionnaire. Respondents were asked to rate, on a 1–7 scale, their informational needs for 26 outreach topics, which were reduced to six factors. Based on these factors, three clusters were identified—holistic managers, environmental stewards, and pragmatic tree farmers. Cluster assignment of individuals was dependent upon a tree farmer’s age, acreage owned, and number of years enrolled in the American Tree Farm System. Holistic managers showed a greater interest in the outreach topics while pragmatic tree farmers displayed an overall lesser interest. Across clusters, print media and in-person workshops were preferred over emails and webinars for receiving forest management information. In-person workshops should be no more than 1 day events, held on a weekday, during the daytime, at a cost not exceeding $35. Programming related to environmental influences, which included managing for forest insects and diseases, was concluded to have the greater potential to impact clientele among all outreach factors due to the information being applicable across demographics and/or management objectives.


Extension programming Forest management Nonindustrial private forest landowners Ohio Segmentation Tree farmers 



This work was supported with funding provided by Ohio State University Extension. We thank the certified tree farmers who took the time to participate in our survey. The constructive comments of the anonymous reviewers were greatly appreciated.

Ethical Standards and Conflict of interest

This research complied with the current laws of the United States of America. The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • SE Starr
    • 1
  • TE McConnell
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • JS Bruskotter
    • 1
  • RA Williams
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Environment and Natural ResourcesThe Ohio State UniversityColumbusUSA
  2. 2.Department of Forest BiomaterialsNorth Carolina State UniversityRaleighUSA

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