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Can’t Fight Mother Nature!

Bruce Margie 9-8Winter is hanging on this year for a bit longer than usual. This week I’ve seen Great Blue Herons & Sand Hill Cranes back from migration & walking on frozen ponds, wishing there were some frogs & fish instead of cold & ice. This is the time of the season that we would like to begin our prairie burning season and dormant mowings, but we still have snow cover and another round of heavy snow coming in the next couple of days. We are however keeping busy with...

Adding a Walking Trail to Your Prairie or Woodland

fall mapleThe leaves are turning color and starting to fall indicating that autumn has finally arrived. It seems like it’s happening a couple of weeks later than usual. I enjoy the fall because I enjoy bow hunting and because it means our season is winding down from a very busy summer. We are still quite busy, however, spraying buckthorn right now. In another week the buckthorn will be real easy to spot in the woods because it will be the only tree that is still green. This is why...

Persistence Wins the Weed Battle

Mesic prairieAfter 22 years as a participant and observer of restored and remnant native landscapes, I have learned persistence wins the weed battle at the end of the day. The natural world is full of change and disturbances (not that this is all bad) but plants, both native and non-native, respond in various ways.  At times undesirable plants appear to “come out of nowhere” and disrupt the native plant community.  Even when plant communities are stable, certain weather conditions (i.e., heavy or prolonged rain periods, drought, unseasonably hot or cold temperatures,...

Management Season Finally in Full Swing

IMG_0327The prairie management season has finally arrived!  We are busier than ever trying to make it to all of our prairies and woodlands in order to keep them free of those pesky weeds.  Among the beautiful spring woodland flowers, grasses, and ferns there are a couple of especially noxious weeds that can wreak havoc and make any woodland look undesirable.  Two main weeds we battle in the spring are the ever popular Garlic Mustard and Dame’s rocket.  Both of these biennial seed-producing...

Native Plants Benefiting Waterfowl and Upland Birds

mallardAs summer seems to be starting in much of the state, here in Boreal Native’s country in Northeastern Minnesota nature is still playing catch-up after a long and snowy winter.  While steelhead are still running in the rivers up the north shore and the Juneberries (Amelanchier ssp.) are finally blooming, preparations for the year have been long in the making.  Seed field production plans are being put in motion, grass and wildflower species that were seeded in February are now potted into six packs and 4” pots...

April Snow BuckthornToday is April 19th; the buckthorn has been cut, slashed, piled and burned or chipped. Maintenance on the equipment is nearly complete. For me, these two things mean the beginning of a new season – our prescribed burn season. Yet, as I sit down to write this, Mother Nature seems to have a different idea as to when burn season should start. We were hoping to be burning our prairies as early as the beginning of April, but as it turns out the groundhog, “Punxsutawney Phil”...

Woodland Editing

Woodland editing is our version of Timber Stand Improvement (TSI).  TSI is the process of actively managing a stand of trees to improve its species composition, structure, health, and growth.  We know that many of our clients are not interested in managing their woods for an eventual timber harvest but many of the principals are the same.  Woodland work can go beyond managing for buckthorn and other invasive species.  Many woods are not only in degraded health but could also benefit from aesthetic help. For example, box-elder trees or...

PRI in the Media – MPR and Star Tribune

Recently, Prairie Restorations, Inc. was very fortunate to have Minnesota Public Radio’s own Minnesota Sounds and Voices reporter Dan Olson spend a few hours at our headquarters facility in Princeton.  Dan was interested in learning more about PRI and seeing the operation firsthand.   Dan interviewed founder and President Ron Bowen about a myriad of topics including the importance of native plant community restoration and the reasons behind the company’s inception over 35 years ago. Jeffrey Thompson, MPR producer and photographer was also on hand to take some great photos...

Drought Resistant Native Plants

I’m sure everyone has noticed we could use a little rain!  Everywhere you look, the turf grass is brown and dry.  It may not be dead but it sure doesn’t look good.  Those who have green and lush turf most likely have a large water bill to go along with it.  Those who have a native prairie restoration are enjoying the spectacular fall colors that prairies provide.  As the native grasses go dormant for the year, they take on golden and red colors that last well into the winter.  The fall...

Controlling for Garlic Mustard in Watertown, MN

Spring is here in full force.  The trees are about leafed out here and everything is greening up.  It’s a peaceful time of year, but for us at PRI it means the busy season is upon us.  Along with the trees and the grass, the weeds are growing at a quick rate as well.  It’s time to get out there and start IPM (integrated plant management) in our native landscapes before weeds start to flower and seed out.  Garlic mustard is our first priority with a couple weeks dedicated...