MN DNR celebrations one billionth seedling

MDNR photo
(c) MDNR

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources celebrated an impressive milestone in October:  After 80 years, they’ve grown their one BILLIONTH tree seedling.

The DNR’s nursery program serves a tremendously important role in the state’s forests.  Thousands of Minnesota woodland owners have planted seedlings raised in DNR nurseries.

Ever wonder where your seedling came from?  As part of the celebration, DNR produced a short video showing how they grow, pull, and store seedlings for spring delivery.  The state forest nursery website has great info on tree selection and planting as well as seedling order forms. You can also read the official billionth seedling press release.

Eli ‘s work addresses Minnesota forest ecology & management. He’s based in St Paul.

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2 Comments

  1. Hello,

    This video is great!!!!

    2-Questions
    #1 What time of the year are the seedling removed from the ground? and how are they stored after they are removed?

    #2 I noticed when they are removed from the ground the sunlight
    hits the seedlings roots and they lay there unprotected for an amount of time. I was always told the sunlight and the drying out of the roots from sunlight kills the tree for replanting. True or False? and why

    I would appreciate answers to they questions if you can.
    thanks,

    Tom Theis

  2. Answer to 2 questions:
    #1 We lift trees in the fall and store them in big, plastic lined boxes in a freezer held at 26 degrees. We also lift in the spring right after frost has left the beds, but before the tree seedlings “break bud”. The spring lifted trees are stored only a short time in a cooler held at 38 degrees before they are delivered to the customer for planting.

    #2 During “normal” operations, the seedlings are removed from the lifted bed and immediately placed in a plastic tub, roots at the bottom of the tub. This protects them from excessive drying and exposure to sunlight. The tubs are transported to a sorting building where the seedlings are graded and placed in a storage container(in the case of fall-lifting) or the shipping box(in the case of spring-lifted seedlings). Tom, it is true about sunlight and drying out of the roots. Sunlight won’t necessarily kill roots on its own, but it hastens the drying process, which is the real culprit. Sunlight and drying winds will dry out and kill exposed roots in a very short time.