Ellis Family Tree Farm
The 197-acre Ellis family tree farm located on the Gig Harbor peninsula, northwest of Wollochet Bay in Pierce County. Margaret "Kit" Ellis is the second-generation Ellis to own the property since it was purchased in 1956. The forest is second growth since the old- growth forest of Douglas-fir, western redcedar, and red alder was logged in earlier decades. In 2023, Kit was nominated for Washington State Tree Farmer of the Year. A video about the tree farm was prepared and can be viewed here.
Kit now manages the property to provide abundant forest wildlife habit; the five-acre lake abounds with ducks, bald eagles and a variety of songbirds as well as game including bears, squirrels and beaver. Another management objective is growing timber as a source of revenue. Through these two management objectives, Kit, as have family members before her, is communicating sustainable forestry to the surrounding community.
Kit is overall manager of the property, Jaal Mann, the lead forester with Northwest Natural Resource Group, helps with the technical health of this property through invasive species control, thinning, and minimizing the impacts of diseases such as laminated root rot on the property. The family placed their tree farm into a conservation easement with the Great Peninsula Conservancy whose goals are to preserve the most significant landscapes of the Great Peninsula.
Kit is active with the local community and incorporates the tree farm into outreach activities. She regularly hosts visits from the native plant societies and the Great Peninsula Conservancy to learn about the land and discuss options to maintain the forest. She is a long- time member of WFF A; and has written several articles to share her experience managing the tree farm. She is also active in working with the Girl Scout Program in the area. The results of her management can be seen today as an amazing example of a healthy and sustainable forest for current and future generations.