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Expert advice, tree sales and care service for all trees and landscapes.

Boardwalks to Bike Paths


Boardwalks to Bike Paths takes viewers on an outdoor adventure, exploring the natural resources, history and recreational backdrops that comprise Northern Minnesota's state parks. From the mile long boardwalk into the wilderness of the Big Bog State Recreation Area to the 25 miles of rugged mountain bike trails overlooking the mine pits of Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area, Boardwalks to Bike Paths is brimming with breathtaking images. Other parks featured are Itasca State Park, Scenic State Park, Charles A. Lindbergh State Park and Crow Wing State Park. Learn about each park's history and the visionaries who helped advocate for the protection of treasured natural resources like the Mississippi River headwaters. From 90,000 acres of unbroken peat lands to a majestic 200 year old pine forest, these sanctuaries provide a home for Minnesotans to do what they do best: explore the great outdoors.

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Planting Trees During the Fall Season

After mid-August, trees have stopped growing for the year and are busy storing energy in preparation for winter dormancy. The tops have stopped growing, but the roots continue to grow and continue to seek moisture and nutrients up to a time when the soil surface is nearly frozen.

One advantage of fall planting is that the tree is not in the process of using its energy to grow above ground, but instead is busy storing energy and setting more roots below ground. This capture of both fall and spring moisture allows the tree to begin its next growing season fully prepared for vigorous growth.

Advantages of Containerized and Potted Trees

  • Easy to plant. 
  • High survival rates. 
  • Fast production of new roots. 
  • Better suited to dry-sandy sites than bare-root stock. 
  • Jump start growth by one to two years vs. bare-root stock. 
  • May be planted when convenient during Spring, Summer or Fall. 
  • Root system is encapsulated in growing medium which protects the fine feeder roots and prevents transplant shock.
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Restoring Woody Vegetation on Tough Sites

A Case Study

The project site is located in the western-most leg of the Littlefork-Vermilion Uplands in north-central Minnesota. The position within the landscape is located on the slightly-elevated edge of black ash and white cedar forest. The site is an altered wetland recently restored and established with woody vegetation and native groundcover species. Site history is conversion of forested wetland to agriculture, altered drainage, soil compaction, fill, and recently the restoration of hydrology. Limiting factors include altered soil profile, plant competition, poor topsoil, drought, and extreme deer depredation. 

In spring 2011 five acres were restored with woody vegetation. The average installed cost was under $5/plant - (about 50% materials and 50% labor). Five species of trees and five species of shrubs were planted using tree mats to conserve moisture and reduce plant competition. Tree protectors were used on bur oak, and wire-mesh protectors were installed on white cedar to prevent browse damage. Shrubs were protected using bluetubes to limit the amount of coppicing by browse and provide stimulated root and stem development. Degraded soil conditions were addressed by treating most plants with a mycorrhizal fungi inoculant. Plant sizes were 2-3 cedar transplants 16-20”, 18-24”oak, 3’ shrubs, 2-1 spruce transplants 16”, tamarack seedlings 12-16”, and 18-24” aspen. 2725 trees and shrubs, 700ea 3x3’ tree mats, 300ea 4’ tree protectors, 125ea 24”bluetubes and 400ea 4’ mesh protectors were used.

Successful establishment of woody vegetation may be accomplished on restoration sites by identifying and mitigating the limiting factors. Success requires the following:

  • 25% good planning 
  • 25% appropriate size and quality of plant materials 
  • 25% adequate soil and moisture conditions 
  • 25% protection from plant competition and animal depredation 
  • 25% high-quality installation

Yes, it takes 125% to be successful!

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I am Seedling

My life began on a warm spring day with a gentle breeze that carried pollen to my parents flower.

As a seed, I was collected and held with tens of thousands of others who were gathered by humans as a source of income. I was wetted and kept cold for months to stimulate my enzymes and encourage my germination.  When I was ready, workers carefully placed me in the soil at a nursery where I was tended by watering, weeding, and close monitoring for disease or insects that might threaten me.  My roots developed and my head grew tall to provide the sunlight, water and nutrients necessary for development.  After a couple years, my seed bed became crowded and I was once again touched by human hands that carefully moved me to a different bed where there was more room for me to grow and become stronger.   The humans who cared for me earned their living by working at my nursery.  I am young, but already have provided benefits.

Last fall, workers moved me to a cold place where I could be safely stored until next spring when I will again be moved to another safe place where I will be counted, packaged and made ready for the final move to my permanent home.  What benefits will I then provide?  Will I simply function as an ornament to beautify a humans’ place of abode?  No, my purpose will be much, much more.  I will save energy by blocking the cold winters wind and by providing shade during the hot summer months.  I will add diversity to the woodland community increasing its’ strength to withstand drought, insect and disease.  I will provide a source of food and shelter for the wildlife that live in my community.  I will store carbon and provide clean, fresh air.  I will capture some of the phosphorous from the soil, keeping it from entering the lakes and streams to reduce potentials of algae blooms that threaten water quality and fisheries habitat.  I may serve as a buffer along shoreline that helps prevent soil erosion.  I may save a human life by stopping blowing snow form causing icy roads.  I might be planted to replace other trees that have been utilized to provide paper, building materials, furniture, heat, or even food for the humans through the use of the cellulose fiber I contain.  Each function and purpose I provide benefits not just the humans, but also the environment in which we all live and all the creatures that are here.

Perhaps someone will see a place for me, a place where I can thrive and provide continuing benefit.  I am ready to serve.   I need a home next spring.   I do not cost much, ask for little, but can provide so much in return.  

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