Northern Minnesota phenology report: December 2011

While out for a hike one cool December afternoon I spotted a large dark object high up in a red maple, walking up to investigate I discover it is a porcupine. Interestingly, I had just had a conversation with a friend who described this very same behavior. I don’t often see porcupines in maple trees. Their preferred winter food is […]

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The Road to a Thoughtful Street Tree Master Plan Slideshow Series (2011)

A new resource, years in the making By Sean Peterson Several years ago, arborist Ken Simons and University of Minnesota Prof. Gary Johnson first set out to define what practical information Minnesota communities needed to develop a step-by-step practical “Master Plan” for street tree planning and design. After much research, compilation of available resources, discussion, planning and finally implementation, in […]

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Northern Minnesota phenology report: November 2011

Snow buntings spend the summer in the far north, well above the Arctic Circle. They make their nests out beyond most human settlements where the musk ox and arctic fox live. With no trees about, they nest on the ground. The nest is made of grasses and moss tightly woven into a deep cup that is lined with feathers. As […]

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Northern Minnesota phenology report: September 2011

September always brings a flush of migrating birds. Many are this year’s juveniles, which often means confusing colors and patterns. Only the serious birders can separate some of the fall warblers. In some field guides there is a section called “Confusing Fall Warblers”. I’m still not sure if the word confusing is an adjective or a verb. Not every bird […]

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Northern Minnesota phenology report: August 2011

Every year as summer winds down the edges of the area roads come alive with Carolina grasshoppers. At this point they are fairly large, uniformly sandy brown, and nearly ubiquitous. Their range includes nearly all of the United States with the exception of the coastal plains of the southeast and California, and the far south in Arizona. Their sandy brown […]

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Extension’s Fall 2011 woody biomass webinar series

The University of Minnesota Extension will offer 7 web-based seminars, or “webinars” on woody biomass, in fall 2011.  While they do require access to an internet connection, webinars offer the convenience of learning at your home or office, avoiding the time and expense of traveling to a workshop. Everybody is welcome to attend.  There is no charge, but pre-registration is […]

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Supercharge Your Woods: How to do “partial timber harvests” right

2011 workshop series for Minnesota logging contractors and family woodland owners addressed financial and ecological benefits of “intermediate stand treatments.” Watch a 5-minute video from the 2011 field days: httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TzDl3eq_pu8 (A larger version of the video is here) It’s a simple law of nature: In order to survive, trees have to grow at least a little bit each year.  Unfortunately, […]

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Northern Minnesota phenology report: June 2011

In July we have all but forgotten the songs of the frogs that were so welcome in April. Those songs that gave us hope among the cool days and freezing nights that winter might actually be coming to and end. The frogs were filled with the same hope. Now as we move into the heart of summer the frogs are […]

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