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Buckthorn Overspray Season

While most people keep track of the year in seasons (spring, summer, fall, and winter) I tend to break the year down into seasons based on the work we are doing at Prairie Restorations. Burn season, integrated plant management season (IPM), buckthorn overspray season, and buckthorn cutting season. We are fast approaching buckthorn overspray season, or as most people call it, fall. Some of our offices may already have started spraying buckthorn or will be starting soon. I’ve been managing the woods at the Target Corporate Campus since I started...

Project with the National Wildlife Refuge to Restore Minnesota Oak Savanna

Prairie Restorations, Inc. Partners with the Minnesota National Wildlife Refuge to Help Restore a Minnesota Oak Savanna Ecosystem Oak savannas once covered significant portions of the Upper Midwest, and it was a major part of the landscape pioneers encountered when they came to Minnesota in the 1800s. Unfortunately less the 2/100ths of a percent – or almost nothing – of that native ecosystem still exists today. What is a savanna?  It is a mixed ecosystem with scattered deciduous trees, with enough open...

How Can We Save the Monarch Butterfly Populations in Minnesota? Part 3 of Our Interview with Prairie Restorations Inc.

EastmanParkMonarch (2)Editor’s Note: In Part 1 and Part 2 of this interview with Janna Jonely, our Director of Retail Operations, we talked with her about pollinator conservation and potential solutions to their disappearing habitats. In this final segment we asked her specifically about monarch butterflies and planting milkweed. Question: What’s all the fuss about milkweed, and how can we help the monarch butterflies? Answer: Certainly. And I just bring this up because it obviously has received a lot of attention recently. ...

How Can We Protect Threatened Pollinators? Minnesota Bee & Pollinators Solutions! Part 2 of Our Interview with ‎Janna Jonely, Director of Retail Operations at Prairie Restorations, Inc.

shoreline pondEditor’s Note: In Part 1 of this interview, Janna Jonely, Director of Retail Operations, discusses pollinator conservation and conditions that threaten their survival. Continuing with the interview, she talks about possible solutions. Question: We’ve talked about the threats to pollinators. What is the solution to our problem here, and how would you define the problem? Answer:The problem is the habitat doesn’t exist, and so we have to build new habitat. Basically what it boils down to is the wilderness that is left in this part of...

What to See This Time of Year in the Woods

The woods are breathtakingly beautiful in spring when spring ephemerals, in full bloom, are carpeting the forest floor. Taking a walk in the woods in early fall can be visually rewarding as well. Blooming plants at this time of year include: Aster ciliolatus (Lindley’s aster) –light blue flower, Aster lateriflorus (Calico aster) – white flower, Aster macrophyllus (Large-leaved aster) – lavender flower, Solidago flexicaulis (Zig zag goldenrod) – yellow flower, and Eupatorium rugosum (White snakeroot) – white flower. There are also plants...

Native Seed Harvesting Has Begun

Bagged SeedThe Boreal Natives’ seed department has started collecting seed for the 2015 season. We kicked off our season picking some woodland grasses in the middle of July. Moving from the woods to the wetlands, we have started and will continue to pick sedges as they ripen. The past two weeks have been very busy for us, combining Poverty oat grass (Danthonia spicata) last week in northeastern MN and this week Blue joint (Calamagrostis canadensis) in Central MN. The fields...

Red -Berried Elders a Great Shade-Tolerant Shrub

RBEIn the Duluth area where our Boreal Natives production site is located, this is the time of year when we start to see signs of a common understory shrub, Sambucus racemosa, or the red-berried elder. This plant is common throughout most of the state, though there are a few counties on the western edge of Minnesota that it does not occur. Usually found growing in the shade of hardwoods, it can also be found with conifers. This shrub is shade tolerant; we find it growing along...

Importance of Natives & Diversity

walmart 010 (2)I had recently taken a trip to northern Minnesota to our family cabin. It isn’t located on a lake, but 1.5 miles back into the woods. Peace and quiet – nature at its best. The land consists of multiple acres that contain oak savannas, mature oak forest, wetlands, and creeks. There are also multiple lakes in the area. A lot of this area has minimal disturbance and is about 99.9% native vegetation cover. I have grown to appreciate pieces of property like this as I know their importance and...

Winter is the Time to Tackle Buckthorn and Oak Wilt

Cutting buckthornIt is the middle of January and winter has flexed its muscles. Many people would assume that a company named “Prairie Restorations” would be sitting back enjoying some quiet time before spring arrives and with it a flurry of activity, but they would be wrong. We have crews out across the state working on projects. Our typical winter field work consists of buckthorn removal along with other woody invasives, but this year we have a variety of other projects happening. In the west metro we...

Life in a Prairie

frog & monarda IIThere’s more to a prairie than just its plants. If you ever walk through a prairie, you will notice there is tons of life to be seen. Just stand still among the flowers and grasses to see the life in a prairie unfold. Soon you will see the busy little bumble bees pollinating away. The beautiful butterflies sipping nectar among the purple blazing star flowers. The tree frogs awaiting patiently atop a leaf for their insect meal to pass by. The rabbits darting about trying to keep...
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