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Forest Assisted Migration Project

Forest Assisted Migration Project

I am excited to be a grower for the Forest Assisted Migration Project or FAMP and encourage anyone interested in growing trees for our future forests to check out more on this great initiative.  The project is a collaboration of multiple organizations working to provide more options to help fulfill the growing need for tree seedlings to the Nature Conservancy and others who are working to replant our northern Minnesota forests.  The project was also based on over 10 years of research by Julie Etterson Ph. D. with UMD focusing on growing tree seedlings that are better acclimating to the shift in our climate's growing season. Taking seeds from specific species just south of our growing zone, these seedlings are showing greater success in longevity, leaf out and overall life span. The first two years have proven to me that it is possible to create collaborations that make a difference in local economies, climate change, and preservation of natural areas. As a group of ~20 farmers and growers, researchers and volunteers learn what it takes to reforest the land, we invite others to join us in providing trees that are showing promise in restoring our distressed forests.
The pilot year (2021) I grew a combination of white pine, yellow birch and river birch seedlings. Other farmers and growers had combinations including red oak, white oak, black cherry, black walnut, and red and white cedar.
The first full season included good overwintering success, but due to the drought during the growing season, the seedlings did not reach the target height of 4-6 inches in their first year as I had hoped. The second year we continued to nurture the first years trees and also attempted to grow basswood and white cedar tree seedlings. Basswood had no germination as of yet, and ~300 white cedar have joined the other seedlings under a blanket of peat and snow for the second winter. As new details emerge in the forming of a farmers and growers cooperative, I look forward to all that will come of such an important program. Please reach out if you are interested in learning more about my experience with this program, or check out more from others involved with FAMP here.


 

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