Crow Wing County Land Services Supervisor Kirk Titus announced that tree planting has been completed on several sites throughout the county.
The county’s tree planting program for 2013 will total nearly 30,000 white and jack seedlings. The planting sites are located on approximately 36 acres in Mission, Crow Wing and Ideal townships.
Ryan Simonson, county natural resource manager, said, “We rely heavily on the natural regeneration for many of our hardwood species like aspen, birch and oak, but we do plant the conifers to maintain and increase species diversity on the county managed public lands.”
The jack pine seedlings planted this spring came from seed gathered at the county’s second generation jack pine seed orchard. The seed orchard is a joint venture with the Minnesota Tree Improvement Cooperative. Crow Wing County has been a member of the cooperative since the early 1980s.
The purpose of the cooperative is to increase the quality of jack pine by making improvements to growth, form, branching and disease resistance. As a result of the work between the county and the Minnesota Tree Improvement Cooperative, the county has the best possible jack pine seed source available for future forest regeneration projects.
“Growing these trees is a long-term commitment,” Simonson said “These sites will be closely monitored for growth and survival over the next five years and we will follow up with protection measures to minimize the effects of deer browse on these trees.”
More than 3.6 million seedlings have been planted on county tax forfeited timber lands in the last 30 years. Funding for this spring’s tree planting comes from a state of Minnesota Lessard Sams Outdoor Heritage Council grant and from the sale of timber stumpage and platted tax forfeited parcels.
“Trees are a renewable resource and the spring’s tree planting is the start of a new generation of trees for our county. Over the next rotation of 50-100 years, these trees will provide habitat for wildlife, recreation opportunities for county residents and forest products for local loggers, paper mills and sawmills,” said Titus.t