In late April, RestoreDoor EcoLogical Services teamed up with Orrick Enterprises to plant 6,800 trees for the Nature Conservancy. Ten different species of native trees were planted on a 10-acre parcel of land that was recently added to the Mink River Preserve. The land was mostly old-field, virtually clear of woody vegetation. The long-term management goal is to restore the diverse native forest to provide wildlife habitat and protect and buffer the groundwater that percolates into the Mink River Estuary, critical home to the Hine’s Emerald Dragonfly. The Hine’s Emerald is one of the rarest species of dragonfly known in the entire United States.
Jonathan Orrick pulled a DNR planter to accomplish the task. There was a wide variety of species, (white pine, red pine, white spruce, arbor vitae, red oak, red maple, butternut, big-toothed aspen, choke cherry and nannyberry) and the different species were different sizes. While the tractor and planter made getting the bare root trees in the ground far more efficiently than if done by shovel, the many varieties made handling the trees in the small planter very interesting. The planters hit their rhythm and a relatively random planting pattern was accomplished. Now the seedlings need a good rain.