2013 Woodland Restoration Project
Grant awards totaling nearly $175,000 will enable the restoration of oak woodland and savanna through removal of buckthorn and other undesirable species. T
toration plan includes the application of herbicide to kill undesirable tree and shrub species, the mechanical
removal of treated trees and shrubs, follow-up controlled burns and additional herbicide application to kill missed and newly sprouted trees
and shrubs. Target
species for removal include common buckthorn, prickly ash, tartarian honeysuckle, Siberian elm, and some eastern red cedar will be removed this winter. This process will involve loud machinery such as grinders, skids, tractor trailers, loaders, and specialized cutting equipment. The material harvested from the woodland is set to be prepped in the nearby agricultural fields and loaded for transport off site. Semi tractors will be hauling many loads of woody materials to bioenergy facilities.
Oak savanna is the native plant community in the upland part of the park. Older burr oak and northern pin oak trees are scattered throughout this area, and the wide expanse of the branches indicates that they grew under open, sunny conditions with room to spread. More recently, eastern red cedar, buckthorn, and prickly ash grew into space beneath the oaks that would otherwise have been prairie grasses and wildflowers.
Observant visitors during the summer and fall months may spot some of the native plants, including Indian grass, little bluestem, pussytoes, prairie smoke, and thimbleweed in some of the sunny openings. Oak savanna (as happened with natural lightning-caused fires) could benefit from controlled burning and removal of non-native, invasive species (buckthorn and prickly ash especially).
The river lowlands along the Rum on the west side of the park include floodplain forest and marsh native communities. The wooded floodplain trees include silver maple, red maple, cottonwood, green ash, box elder, and black willow. The marshes in the backwaters include cattail, sedges, and prairie cordgrass.
One important reason to preserve the woodlands and the marshes along the riverbank is the ‘filtering’ function, acting as a buffer for rainwater and runoff before it enters the river flow, filtering out pesticides and pollution. Over 50% of Minnesota’s wetlands have been lost to filling, draining, and relocation, making the remaining wetlands especially important to water quality.
The Rum River in particular is the direct link connecting Mille Lacs lake to the Mississippi River.
RRNA Tree and Plant Census, October 2001
|Canopy species||Scientific name||Subcanopy species||Scientific name|
|Quaking aspen||populus tremuloides||Prickly ash||zanthoxylum americanum|
|Box elder||acer negundo||Common buckthorn||rhamnus cathartica|
|Eastern cottonwood||populus deltoides||Honeysuckle||lonicera sp.|
|Silver maple||acer saccharinum||Staghorn sumac||rhus typhina|
|Sugar maple||acer saccharum||Grey dogwood||cornus foemina|
|Red maple||acer rubrum||Black cherry||prunus serotina|
|Green ash||fraxinus pennsylvanica||Common hackberry||celtis occidentalis|
|Bur oak||quercus macrocarpa|
|Northern pin oak||quercus ellipsoidalis|
|Northern white cedar||thuja occidentalis|
|Eastern red cedar||juniperus virginiana|
|Other identified species|
|American basswood||tilia americana||Red pine||pinus resinosa|
|American hornbeam||ostrya virginiana||Sandbar willow||salix exigua|
|American plum||prunus americana||Speckled alder||alnus rugosa|
|Black willow||salix nigra||White spruce||picea glauca|
|Eastern white pine||pinus strobus||Pussy willow||salix discolor|
|Grasses and other species|
|Bedstraw||galium sp.||Virginia waterleaf||hydrophyllum virginianum|
|Bloodroot||sanguinaria canadensis||Smooth broom||bromus inermis|
|Blueflag iris||iris versacolor||Sedges, incl. fox sedge||carex sp.|
|Bluegrass||poa sp.||Reed canary grass||phalaris arundinacea|
|Cattail||typha latifolia||Raspberry||rubus sp.|
|Giant goldenrod||solidago gigantea||Prairie cordgrass||spartina pectinata|
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