Green Futures Program and Emerald Ash Borer
Through our Green Futures Program, Tree Trust has planted 1,060 trees at 16 community sites since 2008. This program is increasing in popularity as cities become more aware of the losses they will suffer to their tree canopy as Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) becomes more prevalent across the state. Ash trees are a significant component of the tree population in Minnesota and experts estimate that EAB will destroy two million ash trees in the Twin Cities metro, and one billion ash trees statewide, in the next decade.
As Tree Trust receives more requests to assist cities with planting trees to compensate for those that will be lost, we are seeking a more cost-efficient means of planting trees. One method is to use low-cost bare root stock trees and hold them in a gravel bed system for several months to increase their root mass. Benefits of these trees include increased plant health and survival of transplanted trees, significant cost savings, broader species availability, and ease of planting with volunteers.
Gravel Bed Nursery
Once completed, Tree Trust’s Gravel Bed Nursery (GBN) will represent the first time Tree Trust has tended our own trees in 11 years. We want to thank Aggregate Industries of Eagan for their generous donation of the gravel needed to fill our 40×60 foot bed. This project was also supported by a significant donation from the MN Turf and Grounds Foundation and a campaign driven by our Board of Directors.
350 bare root trees will be installed in the gravel bed this spring, tended through the summer, and harvested and planted during our fall planting projects this year. Our Green Futures program, as well as our North Minneapolis Free Trees program, will specifically benefit from these healthy, hearty, and low-cost trees in the upcoming years. Due to the cost savings gained by use of the GBN, Tree Trust expects to increase the number of trees we are able to plant in local communities by 20%.