Northern Minnesota phenology report: January 2010

There is a progression of fruit eaten by birds as they move through the upper midwest. We are all aware of the summer fruits, the ones we enjoy, those that ripen and spoil within a few days. Think of strawberries, juneberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries among others, these are all quite palatable and for the most part familiar to our palates. […]

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How woodland trees grow

This post includes information about how site, climate, tree characteristics, and shade tolerance affect the growth and vigor of trees. Effect of site characteristics Site characteristics that affect tree growth include soil depth, texture, moisture, and fertility, along with topography. On the whole, deep soils are better for tree growth than shallow soils because they potentially have a greater nutrient […]

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How forests grow

Forests are dynamic ecosystems—they’re always growing and changing.  Patterns of forest succession are relatively predictable within given site conditions, but highly variable from site to site.  For instance, in the sub-boreal forests of northeastern Minnesota, widespread aspen and birch forests are being invaded by native spruce and fir trees.  Over time as the short-lived aspens and birches die, shade-tolerant conifers […]

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Minnesota’s four biomes

Minnesota is at the center of four ecological province, or biomes.  The four Minnesota biomes are as follows: Northeastern Minnesota is dominated by the Laurentian Mixed Forest, which for many is synonymous with the north woods or boreal forest.  The Laurentian Mixed Forest province is dominated by aspen, pine, spruce, and fir, with pockets of northern hardwoods (generally caused by climatic […]

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