Local nature preserve plants trees that are more prepared for a warming climate

Beyond The Forecast

(WFRV) – Trees play a vital role in the ecosystem. They give us oxygen, support wildlife, and promote good air quality.

Enter Woodland Dunes Nature Center and Preserve in Two Rivers. They have been planting trees on their property that better adapt to an ever-changing climate through their Forest Enhancement Project.

These new trees are important and plenty of them have been planted in the last few years.

Jennifer Klein is the Land Management Coordinator for Woodland Dunes. She says, “We’ve planted 10,000 trees so far and they are all the bigger size like you see here…there the 5-gallon pots and the shrubs are maybe 3 feet and the trees we plant are 5 feet in height.”

Klein and the workers at Woodland Dunes have planted those 10,000 trees in just the past 4 years on 10 acres of land. Many of these trees are native to Wisconsin, but they are getting their tree stock from further south.

“We get them from a nursery in St. Louis and we plant 36 different species of trees and shrubs. So, we are actually looking at a couple things when we get them from further south. We are looking for trees that are genetically more adapted to the hotter climate. So as climate change comes and maybe warms up the area, these trees are already used to the hotter climate and could survive in that.”

The new trees also provide added benefits to the area. For example, Emerald Ash borer is present on the property which kills ash trees. So, planting different species of trees helps native trees take over. Wetland filtrations in another one of those added benefits.

“Another goal is the coastal wetland filtration; we want to keep the water that comes into our forest clean…keep it from running on to our roadways and things like that…so when it goes back into Lake Michigan, we have clean water,” states Klein.

Although most of these trees are still short, trees like their silver maples grow rapidly at about 3 feet per year.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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