We have a number of trees growing naturally around the Pinestead. Anything we have planted is not listed here, but with our tree spade we have moved quite a few trees, both conifer and deciduous, into various locations around the farm to establish windbreaks and to just make things look "pretty".
We have a couple of these growing along the creek. We don't know how old they are, but they look like they have been there forever. They are quite large, somewhat misshapen, and extremely messy. The branches are always breaking off and interfering with mowing. (TMn p83)
Until we started this web page we never knew that the boxelder is a member of the maple family. You can bowl down the sap and make maple syrup (it has a lower sugar content so the yield is not as great as a sugar maple). One of the neat things about them is that their seeds remain on the tree all winter and are an important food source for overwintering birds. We just wish they would keep their boxelder bugs to themselves and not let them migrate into our buildings. (TMn p155)
We have small Cedar growing throughout the fields. Most never get very large as they are cut out if they are interfering with a Christmas tree. Some pop up between the rows and never get any larger then lawn-mower blade height. (TMn p33)
The mature oak have been around a long time. We enjoy their rugged appearance with their twisted and gnarled limbs. We have a small oak woods up by Hwy 65 with a hay wagon trail through it. When we had our pumpkin patch and corn maze the hay wagon would go through the oak woods on the way to the corn maze. We had it decorated with all sorts of Halloween type items. We also have a lot of oaks along our southern property line.
The mature oaks are are not the problem. The squirrels are the problem. They hide acorns all over the farm. Come Spring we have hundreds of new oak trees sprouting among our pine, spruce, and fir. The ones that sprout between the rows will get mowed, but the ones that sprout in the row (alongside our conifer trees) must be clipped out by hand.
The Red Pine, more commonly called Norway Pine, is Minnesota's state tree. We grow them as Christmas trees so normally they (as well as Scotch Pine and White Pine) would not appear in this series, however, this one came up wild in the windbreak. Some of our windbreaks (planted well before we bought the property in 1986) are Norway Pine and would reseed themselves more but require a fire to clear the ground to allow the seeds to germinate. Obviously the last thing we want is a fire. Our Christmas trees are healthy and wouldn't burn much, if at all, but in our business looks are important. (TMn p23)
Technically we shouldn't include this as it is one Greg planted quite a few years ago so it's not truely a wild tree. However, it is now so beautiful that we couldn't resist including a picture. It's close to the creek where it gets all the moisture it needs and there is no stopping it. We only wish Christmas trees would grow as fast! We let the branches come all the way down to the ground so the grandkids have a little hideaway inside. (TMn p 77)