Herbicide applications to begin in the Sandstone Area as part of state land reforestation efforts

Herbicide applications will begin in the Sandstone area according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR). This is being done as one of several reforestation operations conducted by the DNR’s Division of Forestry to control vegetation on newly established forests.

A ground broadcast herbicide application on 170 acres, on three tracts of state land within the St. Croix State Forest, in Pine County, will begin approximately July 15 and will continue through approximately September 12. Signs will be posted on all herbicide treatment sites. These sites will be mechanically disk-trenched later this summer for planting in the spring of 2014.

“Herbicides are applied to state land to help establish new forests,” explained Doug Hecker Area Program Forester. “Herbicides help minimize competition between existing vegetation and newly planted trees.”

The DNR plants trees on state lands to reforest harvested areas, provide wildlife habitat, protect watershed values and maintain the quality of state forests. Part of the reforestation process involves applying herbicides to the harvested areas prior to, or following, tree planting. Once a planting site has been prepared, professional foresters determine the tree species appropriate for the site and private contractors hired by the DNR do the actual planting.

More than 4,000 acres of state forest lands are planted and seeded each year. This is equivalent to over 3,000 football fields. This past spring, in the Sandstone Area, the Division of Forestry aerial seeded 307 acres, on 8 sites, to black spruce, white, red & jack pine.

Over the last 10 years, the DNR has planted or seeded close to 100,000 acres. Pines are the major species planted. During that 10 years period, the DNR has planted over five million white pine, on state lands to restore this valuable tree in Minnesota’s forested landscape. Many other native tree species are also planted. Oak and other native hardwoods are widely planted in the State Forests of southeastern Minnesota.

More information about the DNR’s forestry division can be found on the DNR website at www.dnr.state.mn.us/forestry.