Forestry >


South St. Louis SWCD is providing forestry technical assistance to public and private landowners, to promote responsible and sustainable forestry in Minnesota. Healthy forests are key to maintaining our waters, wildlife, and landscape.

Consulting and Site Visits
South St. Louis SWCD offers free site visits and consultation by our forestry technician for landowners with land management and tree care questions and concerns. This includes insect, pest, and disease concerns, as well as timber harvesting, planting, and other landscape questions. We can provide unbiased advice to help identify issues, come up with potential solutions, and explain and navigate the numerous options available when it comes to taking on forest management projects.

To schedule a visit with our forester Beth, email beth.peterson@southstlouisswcd.org, or call our office at 218-723-4867.

Forest Stewardship Planning
Forest Stewardship Plans are formal written plans that provide an overview of the landscape, technical advice, and long-range forest management planning. Plans are tailored to your specific goals and interests, while maintaining the sustainability of the landscape. Forest Stewardship Plans are an excellent starting point for any forest landowner interested in learning more about their resources and caring for the future of Minnesota forests. They are a good first step when taking on any forest management project such as tree planting or timber harvesting.

Landowners with a current Forest Stewardship Plan and other eligible lands can enroll in State property tax relief programs, invluding teh Sustainable Forest Incentive Act (SFIA), and 2c Managed Forest Lands. See additional resources below for more information.

What's the process for Forest Stewardship Plans?
Our forester will meet with you, conduct an inventory of your land, assess local and broader landscape level factors, and write the plan. Plans include an aerial photo of your land, map of the plant communities and cover types, an overview of management options, and predicted future conditions. Once finished, your forester can help you navigate any next steps.

Plans cover topics including wildlife habitat, trail and access construction, timber harvesting, tree planting, and insect and disease issues.

How do I start my plan?
Contact our office if you have questions, or call to set up a free site visit to start discussing your property, goals, and options. Our office charges plan writing fees based on how many acres are to be included in the plan. Call 218-723-4867 or email beth.peterson@southstlouisswcd.org. You can also read the Woodland Stewardship Book (UM Extension) to get an idea of what it entails.

Emerald Ash Borer
Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) has been located in St Louis County and is likely to spread throughout the region. There are two important things you can do to help slow and mitigate EAB's damage.

1) Learn to identify Emerald Ash Borer and evidence of its presence. The Minnesota Extension has a step-by-step guide for identifying ash trees, the ash borer itself, and insect damage. Diseased trees may be treated or removed.

2) Begin planting replacement species. For black ash growing in moist forests, consider tamarack, yellow birch and red maple. For black ash in upland forests, consider basswood, quaking aspen, white spruce and maples. For green ash along river floodplains, consider American elm, box elder, or some of our native willows.

For further information on the Emerald Ash Borer use the links below:
Emerald Ash Borer ID & Action Guide
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources - EAB

Additional Information

General Forestry
Minnesota Forestry Association
University of Minnesota Forestry Extension
Certified Plan Writers in MN
Don't Move Firewood (Mn DNR)
Firewise (Mn DNR)

Property Tax Incentive Programs
Minnesota Department of Revenue Sustainable Forest Incentive Act (SFIA) Information
St. Louis County Assessor (handles application and tracking for both SFIA and 2c)
St. Louis County Assessor 2c Managed Forest Lands Information

Annual Native
Tree & Shrub Sale

The 2016 Tree & Shrub Sale is now over. Mark your calendars for next year, and make sure to get your orders in early to ensure you get exactly what you need.

2016 Order Form
2016 Descriptions and Photos

How does the sale work?
1. Review the Descriptions and Photos to see what is available that will work with your land and sun exposure.
2. Fill out your order form. Make sure to select a pick-up location, and mark your calendars now! The dates will not change.
3. Mail your order in with a check. We WILL sell out of some trees - so get your order in earlier rather than later.
4. Make your planting plans, as the trees need to get in the ground asap once you pick them up. See planting tips below.
5. Pick up your trees on the designated dates and times, and have fun planting!

Tree Planting & Care Resources

Before you pick up your trees, know when you're going to plant them, where, and how to store them until they're planted. These resources will prepare you to keep your trees healthy and happy.

Minnesota SWCD Tree Handbook

USDA Plants Database

Our 'Forests In Focus' Poster

Interactive Trees Poster (Mn DNR)

Online Plant Selector (Blue Thumb)

Deer: Damage Prevention
and Control Methods

Bud Capping to Protect from Deer (UM Extension video)

How to Prune (USFS)

Backyard Tree Care (Mn DNR)

Itasca Greenhouse - local seedling supplies

How To Plant


© 2015 South St. Louis County Soil and Water Conservation District