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The White Pine Society

White Pine News

Cook County News-Herald - March 31, 1997

Hedstrom's to give away trees

The Hedstrom Lumber Company will give away 21,000 white pine, red pine, and white spruce seedlings this spring to home owners, cabin owners, civic groups and other organizations interested in planting them.

Doug Curry, director of wood procurement for the company, said Hedstrom's will pick up the trees at the Itaska Greenhouse, near Grand Rapids, May 1 and the trees will be available at the company headquarters on the Gunflint Trail may 2

He said the company would get 15,000 white pine trees, 3,000 red pines, and 3,000 white spruce. That is the same number of trees the company gave away last spring, which was the first year of the program.

He said the trees are two years old and between six and eight inches tall. The white pines are a disease resistant strain of the species, developed to ward off the white pine blister rust.

This disease has taken a heavy toll of white pines in past years. According to foresters, this part of Minnesota is one of the worst in the country for white pine blister rust.

"The trees will be given away free of charge to any individual, group, or organization willing to do the planting, Curry said.

The Hedstrom company will provide training on how to plant the trees and will lend tools that can be used for planting.

The seedling give-away is a part of the lumber company's program to promote awareness of the statewide effort to restore the white pine in Minnesota.

The governor has proposed that the legislature appropriate $1.5 millions for this program and for research to further develop disease-resistant strains of white pines.

Curry said that of the 21,000 seedling trees given away by the company last spring, most of them went to resorts along the Gunflint Trail.