Through the partnership, TNC has identified and prioritized planting areas. Underplanting a mix of white pine, red pine, white spruce, tamarack, hemlock and cedar trees is underway on the project with the help of Timberland Forestry Services, a contractor based in Munising, MI.
TNC provides the logistics to deliver trees to staging points near the planting site and to mark the areas where planting is to occur. The trees will be planted in riparian areas that connect the watershed to streams and upland areas. A crew of seven is expected to take a week to plant the trees by hand.
The seedlings will replace spruce and balsam trees damaged by the spruce budworm. The budworm damages trees by eating their foliage and creating large gaps in the canopy. This damage reduces tree growth under the best of circumstances, but causes large groups of trees to die under the worst of conditions.
“We appreciate projects like this one that provide streams, rivers and riparian areas with the ingredients they need for natural, process-based recovery,” said Ryan Beatty, biologist at Ottawa National Forest Fisheries. “Planting efforts like this are long-term investments in shading streams, protecting cold-water trout habitat, and long-term recruitment of fallen trees, which are important to fish habitat.”