In celebration of Arbor Month, R.D. Offutt Farms planted 45,000 Red Pine and White Spruce trees on fields in Hubbard and Wadena Counties between May 21-25.
Warren Warmbold, Midwest Farms’ Vice President, said RDO began planting trees in the late 1970s to replace those harvested for field development. Since then, RDO has planted more than 400,000 trees.
“For more than 40 years, we’ve planted trees on corners of the fields we own to provide a windbreak, minimize soil erosion and create new habitat for native animal species,” Warmbold said.
Sourced from the Minnesota State Forest Nursery, trees are usually available in late April or early May, coinciding with Arbor Day and Month. Following the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources recommendations on which varieties thrive in each region of the state, RDO has planted several types of conifer trees best suited for north and west central Minnesota.
Warmbold said the farm team prioritizes planting trees on fields in strategic locations to protect the crop and nearby natural resources.
“Our region has some of the most beautiful and clean lakes and rivers in the state,” Warmbold said. “We know there’s benefits to both water and air quality when planting trees, so we try to plant them on open fields within five to ten miles of the area’s numerous waterbodies.”
This year, RDO planted on fields near the Shell and Fishhook Rivers.
Approximately 800 trees are planted per acre. This spring’s trees added roughly 56 acres to nearly 500 acres the company has planted over the years. In addition to that acreage, RDO also manages more than 3,500 acres of natural wooded or forested lands.
“Our team members and families live and work in this region, and we care about the natural resources,” Warmbold said. “This Arbor Month, we are proud to join other Minnesotans as we play our part to protect the environment that sustains us.”