Nature Matters: White Pine Tree-union In Duluth

By KBJR News 1

August 19, 2014 Updated Aug 19, 2014 at 7:25 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com)

This is a family reunion of sorts.
The thing that relates all these people are white pines.
This stand of young trees can be found along Duluth's Brighton Beach.
It was planted by these young people in 2007 and 2008 when they were in elementary school.
It's an attempt to bring back the king of the forest.

"The white pine really is well suited for the heavier and slightly moister soils here.
Red pine aren't quite as well adapted so this really is the climax forest." said organizer Bob Olen.

The white pine was nearly wiped out a hundred years ago by logging, forest fire and blister rust disease.
This tree–union lets the original planters see how much they and their trees have grown in seven years.
Sisters Sydney, Casey, Cami and Carrie Fischer were back to see the result of their handi–work.

"It's kind of cool.
The tree is taller than me now which is cool because it was really small when I planted it." said Carrie Fischer.

Casey Fischer was only four when she planted her white pine.
She still remembers the hard work of watering the seedlings.

"Well, I would only have a little plastic watering can when everyone else was carrying the big gallons." said Casey.

Seven years later, the trees are thriving due to the kids' work and six feet of anti–deer fencing.

"I'm extremely pleased and actually, the fact that the kids nurtured the trees, they really were instrumental in the success we're having." said Olen.

Sydney Fischer will try to keep her white pine successful in the years to come.

"Maybe, if I don't forget about it!" said Sydney.

Sydney is worried about forgetting her tree because some white pines in Wisconsin and Michigan are estimated to be 500 years old.

Bob Olen of the Saint Louis County Extension office says another stand of white pine is in the planning stages.
This time around, the planters will be from Marshall School in Duluth.