The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will begin herbicide applications on select state lands to improve reforestation efforts in the Side Lake area. Applications will begin around August 15 on 70 acres in the George Washington and Sturgeon River State Forests.
Signs will be posted on all herbicide treatment sites. Adjacent landowners within a quarter mile of the treatment sites will be notified. Herbicides will not be applied within 100 feet of any water body, following DNR herbicide application guidelines.
“Herbicides will be sprayed on the ground to reduce competing woody vegetation,” said Jon Splinter, Hibbing area forester. “This gives the tree seedlings a better chance to grow and survive.”
The DNR plants trees on state lands to reforest harvested areas, provide wildlife habitat, protect watersheds and maintain healthy state forests. Part of the reforestation process involves applying herbicides to the harvested areas prior to or following tree planting. DNR foresters determine the right tree species for the site and private contractors do the actual planting.
This past spring in the Hibbing area, the Division of Forestry planted more than 75,000 seedlings on 120 acres, and 200 acres were seeded. Statewide, more than 1.9 million seedlings were planted on state forest lands and more than 5,300 acres were seeded this year.
More information about the DNR’s Forestry Division can be found on the DNR website at www.mndnr.gov/forestry.