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Winter Restoration Work

This time of year most people in our industry are looking to the coming season or plugging through busy work in preparation for spring. There are however a few rugged souls still out in this obnoxiously cold weather doing the good work. In all honesty, their determination detracts my focus from any task at hand, from busy work, from spring, even from family and friends. I’m instead forced to look inward. This has been my first winter spent indoors. I’m no longer the go-to winter field work...

“What Do You Do All Winter?”

Working at Prairie Restorations, Inc., we are often asked this simple question: “What do you do all winter?” It is fair question, given the nature of our work. Perhaps somewhat surprisingly, there is a lot going on this time of year… During much of the winter, our services crews are still out in the field working on projects. Most of this involves working in the woods, removing buckthorn and other invasive woody species on both public and private properties. Other types of...

A Brief Year in Review

We have been fighting our way through another wall of buckthorn, but are getting close to having it wrapped up before Christmas, no pun intended. It was a short summer, weedy as ever, but managed to get our projects done and improve our relationships with our great customers, even though we didn’t get to see some of them until the middle of the season. There are a few small restoration projects to keep us going, but we’re looking forward to enjoying our slow...

Musings while Cleaning Native Seed

Seed cleaning season is here, and as we started working on this year’s harvest, an as-of-now unidentified invader (see photo) was spotted crawling around our work area. This unknown larvae has been pouring out of our drying Aster piles in large numbers and appears to be residing in a re-purposed seed husk and crawling around with it like a hermit crab. In a crop-based line of work, one’s thoughts can quickly jump to the question of whether or not a particular creature is a pest. Though some of the things...

Winter is Coming…

No, I am not referring to the dramatic HBO TV show Game of Thrones, but the honest truth that winter and all of its lovely attributes like slippery roads, shoveling driveways, and 40 below wind chills is right around the corner! Here at the Princeton office, we are working hard to get all of our fall work wrapped up before that nasty white stuff slows us way down. The main projects that we have been working tirelessly on since Mid-October have been the installation of a native grasses and...

Diversity Improves Wildlife Habitat

The past few years I have had the privilege in restoring an agricultural farmed field into a native grassland for wildlife. Like most people, this gentleman’s outlook was to have his entire property straight native grasses with some wildflowers. When restoring properties for wildlife there is much more than a need for native grasses and wildflowers, we need to focus on the big picture. In order to hold more wildlife on your property you need a mix of habitat, which usually consist of bedding,...

Consider using Woodland Sod Flats in your landscape

Woodland Sod Flats are an economical way to restore your shady area. They are 1.42 square feet (10” x 20.5”) jammed full of a mixture of grasses, sedges and flowers for shade ranging from 1 to 3 feet high. Sod flats include Kalm’s brome, Dewey’s sedge, Graceful sedge, Long-beaked sedge, Bottlebrush grass, Many-flowered woodrush, Columbine, Large-leaved aster, Bishop’s cap, Virginia waterleaf, Woodland phlox, Zig zag goldenrod, Lindley’s aster, Calico aster, and Early meadow rue. When planting sod flats, they can...

The Buckthorn Removal Process

Well, it looks like fall is finally here!! If you are like me spring, summer and winter is spent in anticipation of cool autumn days and the activities that come with it. At Prairie Restorations, fall is also buckthorn over-spray season. The initial buckthorn removal typically takes place during the winter months. The next and most integral part of the process is the follow-up maintenance. With the removal of the larger buckthorn plants, more light and nutrients become available. The buckthorn seed lying...

…Same, but Different…

This is my 22nd year at Prairie Restorations, Inc. I can finally say that the years are starting to gel together. Time goes by one day at a time and, without even thinking about it, it has been twenty-two years. During my time working with native landscapes, I’ve really come to appreciate their variability. Each year there can be significant variations in a landscape all influenced by a combination of factors including weather, predation, human influences, etc…One year, there can...

Collecting Tree Seed At Boreal Natives

During the fall of my third year with Boreal Natives, we are putting a big emphasis on tree seed collecting. We are travelling out to a wide range of biomes across northern Minnesota & Wisconsin to collect different species of deciduous trees (Acer saccharinum, Acer saccharum, Betula alleghaniensis, & Betula papyrifera) and conifers (Larix laricina, Picea glauca, Picea mariana, Pinus resinosa, & Pinus strobus). Our goal is to collect seed from multiple sources in order to promote biodiversity and natural sustainability among...