Ask an Agroforester

Ask an Agroforester

Do you have questions about adding trees to your land? Or other specific questions regarding Midwestern agroforestry? Fill out the form below and an agroforester will be in touch.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I buy plants?

Our partners at Canopy Farm Management, based in Illinois and Wisconsin, have perennial plant material available through its bare-root nursery. When you purchase through Canopy, a portion of the sales help to support Savanna Institute’s nonprofit mission. For more nurseries in your area, check out this National Nursery and Seed Directory.

What trees or shrubs should I plant?

The plants you choose will depend on the natural resources available on your land and your farm goals. Timber trees require low capital investment and minimal ongoing maintenance over a longer period of time ranging 20 to 50 years depending on species. Fruit and nut trees require higher initial investment and establishment maintenance, but can provide annual returns once established (~5 to 10 years depending on species). Additional shrubs and crops can be planted within the tree rows between the primary trees. Learn more about crops we think are promising.

How much money can I make?

Once an agroforestry system is established and tree crops mature, farmers and landowners can collect a steady income stream from a U-Pick operation or tap into markets with wholesale distributors. Silvopasture can be appealing to some producers because livestock have established and accessible markets while fruit, nut, and timber trees are being established.The amount will vary based on the scale of your operation and the market demand for your crop and/or livestock – we recommend reviewing the economics for each commodity/crop before planting. Learn more about farm finances.

Where are your demonstration farms?

The Savanna Institute runs demonstration farms in Central Illinois and Southern Wisconsin. We also have partners in Michigan and Minnesota who share their farms for educational events. Our demonstration at Silverwood Park in Wisconsin is open to the public, and the rest are open during events and by appointment only. Learn more about our demonstration farms.

Is there a representative in my area?

Our staff are based primarily in Wisconsin and Illinois, where we provide technical assistance. Check back soon after we hire new Technical Service Providers to serve the entire Midwest region as part of the Climate-Smart Commodities Partnership. Learn more about our Technical Service Program.

Are there free resources available on this topic?

Check out the latest releases in our Resource Library for more free reports and videos to learn about agroforestry.

How can I stay updated about events in my area?

The Savanna Institute and its partners hosts in-person field events during the summer and fall, and online events in the winter. Sign up for our newsletter and check our events page for updates.

Ask an Agroforester

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One-On-One Support for Farm Planning

Technical Service Program

Get help planning your perennial farm system. Our Technical Service Program is here to guide you through the process of planning, funding, and planting trees on your farm.