Johnston County, North Carolina
Dr. Frank Stallings and son, Donnie
The Johnston Soil and Water Conservation District recognized Dr. Frank Stallings as Johnston County’s Tree Farmer of the Year. A native of Smithfield, Dr. Stallings manages over 125 acres of woodland in the Cleveland community. With the help of his son, Donnie, they grow and manage for the long leaf pine production. Long leaf pine trees, the official NC State tree, were the predominate pine species in NC’s early history. They were harvested for their tar and pitch which were used in the naval stores as part of the shipping industry during the 1700’s and 1800’s.
The Stallings have 75 acres of long leaf pine which was established in the 1980’s and in 2012 to prevent erosion, protect water quality and provide wildlife habitat through the USDA Conservation Reserve Program. They manage their long leaf pines by controlled burns and by pine straw raking. The pine straw is raked into bales and sold to nurseries. Long leaf pine savannahs are a unique ecosystem which provide habitat to a variety of wildlife and endangered species.
Dr. Stallings and his wife of 61 years, Alice, live in Washington, NC where he practices pediatric medicine. Donnie, their son, resides in Johnston County and actively oversees their woodland operation.