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Nature Nurtures; Forest Assisted Migration Project

Updated: Dec 10, 2022

Nature Nurtures is a column in our local news paper the Lake County Press which I voluntarily write for. To purchase a subscription to the Lake County Press click on the link below, or purchase copies at any of several Two Harbors establishments.

The Forest Assisted Migration Project aims to reforest our landscapes while providing a sustainable economic opportunity to multiple farmers and growers. The project has benefits well beyond these, as the research conducted by Julie Etterson Ph. D., with UMD has shown. Climate change is just one more stressor that is hindering the health of our northern forests, and as the temperatures are predicted to warm, and our seasons timings are shifting, plants are having a hard time adjusting. By planting seeds from trees grown in regions just south of our zone, we are seeing better longevity, and overall success compared to those germinating from our resident trees. The species selected leaf out longer into the fall which helps in growth rate of the trees as well as capturing more carbon. I am grateful to be a part of pilot project as a grower. In my first year I grew white pine, yellow birch and river birch seedlings. There was quite a drought through the growing season, and the target height of 4-6" wasn't reached by the trees I was growing, however others had some success. We continue to learn and grow as an organization taking action to provide another resource in trees needed for planting in our Minnesota forests. For more information on this project click here.

As printed in the Lake County Press February 12th, 2022 Vol.1 No. 3

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