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Carlton County Eastern Hemlock Seed Nursery


Eastern hemlock, (Tsuga Canadensis), currently resides in small isolated pockets of northeastern Minnesota. Minnesota currently lies on the edge of the known range that provides a sufficient climate for the species. Current U.S. Forest Service models indicate that with our current and modeled future climate in northeastern Minnesota, the conditions eastern hemlock needs to flourish will be wider spread throughout this region of the state. Historic evidence, such as the maps of compiled land survey notes compiled by Francis J. Marschner, show that eastern hemlock had a larger place on the landscape than it currently occupies. Much of the trees original range can be described by the Native Plant Communities of Minnesota (NPC) publication that describes the area where eastern hemlock was known to reside as the Glacial Lake Superior Plain Subsection. A majority of this subsection resides along the Nemadji River in Carlton County. Currently Carlton County houses 25% of Minnesota's hemlock trees in Hemlock Ravine SNA. The majority of this region is now devoid of any hemlock due to historic logging practices that harvested most of the valuable conifers from the landscape. This logging was followed by massive fires which burnt much of the remaining seed that could have propagated future conifers such as eastern hemlock. The Carlton County Land Department has identified a need to propagate with the intentions of planting, native eastern hemlock onto the landscape it once occupied. Since most of the Glacial Lake Superior Subsection occurs on Carlton County managed lands, and this area houses much of the original lands hemlock occupied, we feel it is important to grow, propagate, and protect eastern hemlock through grafting native Minnesota eastern hemlock scion material on eastern hemlock root stock and protecting them for future seed collection and propagation with this fence. Having a fenced eastern hemlock seed orchard will provide us with the opportunity to plant hemlock seedlings on the highly erodible sites along the Nemadji River Watershed which will provide stability to the stream banks, thermal habitat for wildlife, and a more diversified forest for all in the future.

Program Conservation Partners Legacy Grant Program

Status Completed

Dates 08/27/2013 - 06/30/2016

Project Manager Mark Westphal

Grant Recipient Carlton County Land Department

Grant Recipient Type Local/Regional Government Unit

Primary Funding Source(s) Outdoor Heritage Fund

Grant Amount $24,640

Expended $24,536

Statutory Reference M.L. 2016, Chp. 172, Art. 1, Sec. 2, Subd. 5(K)

Management Unit(s) County

Habitat(s) Forest

Activity Type(s) Restoration/Enhancement

Primary County Carlton


Latest Indicator Number of acres enhanced

Target 1 Acre

Measurement 1 Acre

Target Summary planned acres

Measurement Summary completed acres