Last week I noticed white flags and then yesterday white poles popping up throughout the 5th park district. My district. I’d been sending emails asking what was happening, and finally received some background on the project underway in my parks.
These poles are actually young tree saplings protected by a tube that are part of a research partnership between the University of Minnesota Department of Forest Resources and the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board and part of our ongoing efforts to diversify the urban forest.
Some of the trees planted were propagated from Minneapolis Heritage Trees at the U of M tree nursery, and others a unique species that we are unable to typically obtain from nurseries.
The tubes, while awkward looking in the landscape, serve several important functions in helping these trees be successful.
• The tubes protect the saplings from grazing by animals.
• The tubes function as a greenhouse in the Spring, encouraging straight growth with fewer low branches and encourages a strong central leader.
• The tubes are very visible to park users and equipment operators so the saplings are less likely to be stepped on or cut down during routine mowing.I’ll try to remember to post photos of them next year a few times as well…
It is incredibly difficult to relax when in a park while serving as a park commissioner. I try, but can not help but leave each walk, ride, ski with a few questions of staff. Like this sinkhole forming in the shape of a fish, immediately adjacent to another large sinkhole patched the previous year. . .
Why is it still here?
When will it be fixed?
Can’t we just cold patch it for now?
Is it part of our FEMA claim?
And so on…