Helping the White Pine

By KBJR News 1

September 7, 2010 Updated Sep 7, 2010 at 8:51 AM CDT

"The state record is about a foot bigger than this."

Windy Ronkainen of Tower Minnesota has adopted a big old friend.

"That's a White Pine and its approximately twelve foot two at the bottom"
"So how old do you figure that makes this tree?"
"The State says its 325 years old."

Wendy is proud of the tree and takes good care of it ....

Another group that adopted some smaller friends are enjoying them grow in Duluth.

In 2007 elementary
students planted 50 White Pines just off the Lake Superior shoreline in Brighton Beach Park. A project volunteer and retired forester says it's a great spot for planting the pines.

"When I found this open area here with some deteriorating birch and aspen and stuff I thought this is really a perfect opportunity to try to put some white pine in."

But there were concerns keeping the young pines going.

"The first two summers were dry, what they did is sign a stewardship agreement that they would take care of these seedlings so they watered them and I think that's what gave them such a good bump they had nearly 100% success rate, I think we only lost one tree out of two plantings so I think that's remarkable."

"White tail deer are a real problem for white pine ...The cage keeps the deer from nipping this top terminal bud."

Along with the satisfaction of watching their trees grow, the junior foresters got a picture of themselves with their young trees and GPS coordinates of them. Master gardener Bob Gillmore says that's important.

"This is a long term project so we thought that GPS locating of each tree was very important for these kids so as they grow up and may leave the area and come back years from now, with GPS they will be able to walk right up to the tree that they had planted."

"We've had tremendous growth from the seedlings we planted 3 and 2 years ago and hope to have a climax forest here within a few years."

In Duluth, I'm David Hoole for nature matters.

There is a cleanup day for the white pine stand sometime this fall, all involved in the planting are invited to Brighton Beach to help.