Crow Wing County completes annual tree planting
Crow Wing County Land Services completed its annual tree planting program for 2014. This year, nearly 65,000 white spruce, white and jack pine seedlings were planted on about 81 acres in Crosslake, Oak Lawn and Lake Edward townships.
More than 3.6 million seedlings have been planted on county managed forest lands during the past 30 years.
“The county tree planting program begins the next generation of our forests,” said Jake Frie, Land Services natural resource manager. “While many hardwoods like aspen, birch and oak regenerate naturally, our tree planting focuses on conifers to maintain and increase the diversity in our forests.
“Planting is in an important element of sound forest management and ensures the resources will continue to provide wildlife habitat, recreation opportunities, and forest products for future generations.”
Jack pine seedlings were gathered from the Minnesota Tree Improvement Cooperative, which Crow Wing County has been a member since the 1980s. The cooperative works to increase the quality of jack pine by making improvements to growth and disease resistance. These jack pine seedlings planted in Crow Wing County managed lands will result in greater forest regeneration and contribute to the long-term health of county forests, the county reported. Funding for the tree planting program comes from the sale of timber and tax-forfeited parcels and from a grant provided by the Lessard Sams Outdoor Heritage Council.
Crow Wing County Land Services manages 105,000 acres of forest land for timber production and diverse recreational opportunities for multiple users. The sale of timber at public auctions during the year funds the county’s management of these lands, while providing revenues to local communities.
The county reported the forest lands are managed to strict environmental standards established by both the Sustainable Forestry Initiative and the Forest Stewardship Council certification standards.