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Extension: 4-H’ers place at District Forestry Contest
forestry team
The 2021 Forsyth County 4-H Forestry Judging Team, from left, Finn Keough, Tallulah Bates, Kaj Dendtler, Wendy Taylor and Elin Turner. Photo courtesy of Heather Haines.

Have you ever gone hiking and wondered what types of trees you were looking at? Or maybe you noticed some odd bumps on a plant and wonder what caused them. While preparing for Georgia 4-H’s Forestry Field Day contest, those are just two of the questions that youth learn how to answer.

In preparation for the yearly contest, youth in fourth-12th grade begin practicing and learning the necessary information for the competition in late July of each year. The contest is broken into two divisions, a Junior Division for 4th through 8th grade students and a Senior Division for high school students. 

Junior 4-H’ers are asked to identify 44 tree species, various insects and diseases, and learn how to estimate sawtimber volume. 

Senior 4-H’s learn to identify and spell the names of 70 trees, identify and spell the names of 30 insects and diseases that can affect tress, continue to estimate sawtimber volume, and also learn compassing.

Tree identification is an important part of the contest because different tree species have varying requirements for growth and differ in use and value. 

Insect identification is a valuable skill because most insects that damage tress only affect certain tree species or groups of related species. If insects cause a lot of damage to a forest, it can result in high dollar value damage to the forest. Likewise, forest health can be identified by looking for diseases. 

By participating in Forestry Judging, youth learn about teamwork, acquire knowledge about trees and the forest, and gain a better understanding and appreciation for our state’s forestry resources and how they contribute to our economy and quality of life. 

On Sept. 9, five Forsyth County 4-H’ers competed in the District Forestry Judging Competition at Flinchum’s Phoenix (University of Georgia Whitehall Forest) in Athens. 

Forsyth County’s Junior Forestry Judging Team placed second at the competition. Team members were Tallulah Bates, Kaj Dendtler, Finn Keough, and Elin Turner. 

Finn Keough placed fourth overall, followed by Kaj Dendtler in fifth place. 

Wendy Taylor completed as an individual in the Senior category and placed 11th overall. 

The Forsyth County team is coached by Agriculture and Natural Resources Educator Shannon Kennedy. 

For more information about the 4-H Program in Forsyth County or how to get involved this school year, please call the Forsyth County Extension / 4-H Office at 770-887-2418 or send an email to 

In Forsyth County, 4-H is supported by The University of Georgia, Forsyth County Board of Commissioners, Forsyth County Board of Education, and United Way of Forsyth County.  

fall plant sale