Canopy newsletter: celebrate Arbor Day, new online tree inventory application available

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Forestry updates from Hennepin County

Celebrate Arbor Day

Arbor Day tree planting

Today is Arbor Day! How do you plan to celebrate? Arbor Day is the last Friday of April in Minnesota and is a holiday that encourages individuals and groups to plant and care for trees. 

Installing a fruit tree orchard at Rockford High School

This year, Hennepin County is partnering with Rockford High School to plant a fruit tree orchard on their campus. The 4H club and agriculture class will help plant the trees, and the orchard will be a learning resource for the school for years to come. 

Engaging the community to plant trees

The county's Arbor Day tree planting this year involves working with the City of Hopkins and community volunteers to plant more than 150 trees of a diversity of species along Excelsior Boulevard on Saturday, May 19. The new trees will replace ash trees that are being proactively removed before emerald ash borer arrives.

Additionally, the county is working with Tree Trust to support the Midtown Community Works Arbor Day Celebration. The 18th annual event will be on Saturday, May 5 on the Midtown Greenway near the near the Sabo Bridge on the east side of Hiawatha Ave.

Earth Day and Arbor Day events map

Arbor Day events map

There are many other Arbor Day events scheduled throughout Hennepin County in April and May. Check our 2018 Earth Day and Arbor Day events map to see how to get involved in your community.

New tree inventory application released

Hennepin County recently created an online tree inventory application to help county foresters inventory trees on county properties. And the good news is that communities can also use this resource free of charge!

A tree inventory is a valuable first step in understanding tree diversity, health, and size. This can help communities better prepare for and manage emerald ash borer as well as any future pests and diseases.

If you are interested in helping with a community tree inventory or inventorying an area of trees in your neighborhood, Hennepin County can help train volunteers and create connections with cities to help collect useful data for managing trees.

If you are interested in using the tree inventory application, contact Jen Kullgren at or 612-596-1175. 

Tree inventory app

Tree stewards class empowers community volunteers

Tree steward volunteers

In March, 10 residents enthusiastic about trees attended Hennepin County’s tree steward class, which is a community-based forestry education class taught by the University of Minnesota.

Attendees learned about proper tree planting, tree care (watering, mulching and pruning), pest and disease issues, and tree health assessments. Upon completing the class, tree stewards commit to volunteering 10 hours per year helping with tree planting and care in their communities.

Additional tree steward classes

Hennepin County intends to partner with additional cities to host more tree steward classes in 2018. Stay tuned for upcoming tree stewards classes in late summer or early fall.

If you are interested in hosting a tree steward class or have a project or event that could use some help from trained volunteers, contact Jen Kullgren at or 612-596-1175.

Hennepin County and partners receive outstanding project award

Plant the Park event

Hennepin County, the City of St. Louis Park and Tree Trust recently received the Minnesota Community Forestry Outstanding Project Award for the Plant the Park project they partnered on last October. This award is presented annually by the Minnesota Society of Arboriculture and Minnesota Shade Tree Advisory Committee to an individual or organization that has organized an innovative and successful arboriculture project.

During Plant the Park, 138 trees of 23 different species were planted along Minnetonka Boulevard with the help of 50 volunteers. This will increase the tree canopy and improve aesthetics along the heavily traveled corridor.

Spring planting projects

To enhance and diversify the county's tree canopy, Hennepin County foresters will be partnering with other county departments, cities, schools and nonprofit organizations to transplant trees from the county's gravel-bed nursery to a variety of sites throughout the county this spring. Foresters are also offering several education opportunities to engage the community and raise awareness about the importance of trees.

The following projects are planned:

  • Installing a fruit tree orchard at Rockford High School
  • Planting 100 trees along Rockford Road in Plymouth
  • Installing 25 trees in the gravel-bed nursery at North High School in Minneapolis
  • Planting 90 trees along Douglas Drive in Golden Valley
  • Hosting a forestry workshop at North Hennepin Community College
  • Planting 27 trees in the medians of Normandale Boulevard in Bloomington
  • Holding a community planting of 150 trees along Excelsior Boulevard in Hopkins
  • Planting 19 trees along Shady Oak Road in Hopkins
  • Conducting a tree inventory and working with students at Orono High School to address issues related to emerald ash borer

Contact Jen Kullgren at or Dustin Ellis at for more information about these projects or to partner on a future project.

Upcoming events

Hennepin County Environment and Energy


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