The News & Reporter
Joanna Angle referred to her attendance at the prestigious event as “surreal” and she’s still pinching herself many days hence from being named S.C. Tree Farmer of the Year. Angle, who owns the 65 acre Cedarleaf Farm in Lewis Turnout, received the high honor on Nov. 2 at the 44th annual meeting of the South Carolina Forestry Association held in North Charleston. “To have been chosen from so many outstanding nominees fills me with profound humility,” Angle said. “To have my name added to the list of former recipients is more than I can absorb.”
The last female to receive this state honor was Mary Julia Royall in 1982. Angle called it a “special privilege” to follow in Royall’s footsteps. “I am an unlikely choice … I don’t come from a forestry or farming family,” she said. “I didn’t begin tree farming until 12 years ago, a time when my life had come unraveled, turned upside down. While I always trusted those beautiful words from Jeremiah, that the Lord had plans to prosper me and give me hope, never in my wildest imaginings could I have dreamed I would be standing here.”
Angle, a non-traditional tree farmer, has wildflowers, native grasses, fruit trees and an arbor of Concord grapes that thrive on her property. In 2000 when she began to seek ways to care for and manage her Cedarleaf Farm, Angle met Robert Salley of Ideal Logging who evaluated her timber and created a management plan for her land. It was also at that time that she met Roy Boyd, a project forester with the S.C. Forestry Commission in Rock Hill, who developed a comprehensive stewardship plan for Angle’s property. A year later, Cedarleaf was certified as a tree farm and inducted into the American Tree Farm System. In 2011, this property was designated a Stewardship Forest and earlier this year on Sept. 29, Angle received the S.C. Master Tree Farmer award primarily due to her promotion of the tree farming industry. Currently, she writes the weekly column, “Tree Talk,” which allows her to educate a broader audience about the care and management of trees. Her column, published each Wednesday in The News & Reporter, also appears in several other news publications throughout the state. Angle humbly acknowledges she could not have attained the honor of state Tree Farmer of the Year without the support of many friends and a very special companion, Dr. Bill Altman, whom she says she’s “loved since first grade.” She also gives recognition to her late parents for the love of nature which they impressed upon her.
“This award is really a tribute to my parents who instilled in me a reverence for the creation and a deep and abiding love of trees,” Angle said. “It is in their memory that I gratefully accept this amazing honor and blessing.” An in-depth article about Angle’s recent honor appears in the 2012 South Carolina Forestry Magazine, an annual publication of the S.C. Forestry Association.