University of Maine at Fort Kent Forestry Students Plant Acorns
Students are working hard to plant these acorns. Recently, students in the Intro to Forestry class have been hard at work planting the red oak tree, a tree native to Maine. They are planting the most cold tolerant species. Recently, they went to New Sweden.
"So what we’re doing in this stand is were bringing acorns from trees that have grown in Fort Kent and we’re planting them in this Norway Spruce stand to add diversity and add a habitat value to this stand." says Dr. Neil Thompson.
Dr. Neil Thompson is passionate about adding this diversity to Northern Maine. Though he loves the Norway Spruce, he feels this stand needs more.
"This is land owned by JD Irving. They planned to hold this as a more continuous cover stand because we’re right next to a road in New Sweden. We wanna have the aesthetic quality of these trees, Norway Spruce is a beautiful species. By regenerating this somewhat naturally over time, it gives good aesthetics on the roadside."
Students are enjoying the process.
"Well first I had them planting red oak seedlings that I grew in tubes and they had to dig a foot down to plant them. So, to grow them from acorns, they very much prefer digging small holes"
Trees do not grow fast, so they will not see results overnight.
"We’ll see in the next year if they’ve come up or not. They’ll grow slow for the first spit because this stand was just thinned, there’s still a lot of shade in this stand. In the next thinning, when we get more light down to the understory, that’s when we’ll start to see real growth on these trees."
Thompson says the trees will grow to about 100 feet tall in the next 80 years. They planted over 2,000 acorns.