Armatage Alder Amendment Study

Researcher: Chad Giblin

A major goal of the partnership between the University of Minnesota and the Minneapolis Park & Recreation board is to research new varieties of trees that can survive and thrive in harsh city boulevards. One such tree is Prairie Horizon® Manchurian alder. Previous success with Prairie Horizon in Armatage encouraged expanding its use from one small planting to a neighborhood-level research trial. Read more...

Cost Benefit Analysis of Planting Stock - a Three-Year Study

Researcher: Monica Randazzo

The Cost Benefit Study of Planting Stock aims to address a small component to this larger question by asking another: are there significant differences in growth rates and survival during the establishment period (3 years) among trees of different stock types? Read more...

Elm Selection Program

For more information:

Many urban areas in the mid-20th century had closed-canopy streets lined with American elms. By the end of the century, many of those areas had complete canopy loss due to the Dutch elm disease fungus. The elm project at the University of Minnesota aims to reestablish the tree that had garnered the admiration of past generations through selective breeding of trees that are tolerant or resistant to the pathogen. Read more...

Indicators of Environmental Stewardship Volunteer Retention

Researcher: Ashley Reichard

The primary objective of this research project is to collect data on the larger cadre of environmental stewardship volunteers (in this case, Citizen Pruners, First Detectors, Master Gardeners, Master Naturalists, Tree Care Advisors, and Tree Stewards) to determine if there are specific indicators for volunteers who will stay involved longer than others. Read more...

Lake Nokomis Root Type Study

Researcher: Chad Giblin

One of the most critical points in a tree’s lifetime is during and immediately following transplant. Trees experience transplant shock, which is a period where trees must adapt to their new environment all while recovering from distress caused by injury, resource loss, and reduced function. This stress comes from damage to or loss of the root system, which impairs a tree’s ability to take up water and nutrients. Read more...

MPRB Soil Amendment Study

Researcher: Chad Giblin

Throughout the City of Minneapolis, there has been an increase in young trees planted in boulevards in recent years. The research of soil amendments which can be incorporated into pre-existing soil as a potential method of improving planting practices and reducing mortality by increasing initial tree establishment and success is of particular interest. Read more...

Olson Memorial Highway

Researcher: Chad Giblin

The Olson Memorial Highway (OMH) elm evaluation study is a cooperative study between the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board and the University of Minnesota, Department of Forest Resources. The study was designed to test lesser known Dutch elm disease (DED) resistant elm varieties. Read more...

Sustainable Harvest Mechanisms for Ginkgo biloba Seeds for Medicine and Food

Researcher: Ryan Murphy

Ginkgo biloba is considered to be one of the best climatically adaptive species for the North Central Region. The species is highly resistant to disease, stress, and pests. The University of Minnesota will develop sustainable mechanisms to harvest ginkgo seeds for medicine and food, thereby, preventing the removal of mature female ginkgo trees that produce malodorous seeds in the urban environment. Read more...

Trout Brook Nature Preserve Tree Tube Amendment Study

Researcher: Chad Giblin

Establishing urban tree canopy using planting stock other than traditional balled & burlapped (B&B) and containerized nursery stock is of increasing interest in the City of Saint Paul. Seedlings are an available option. However, seedlings are vulnerable to animal browse. Placing tree tubes around seedlings can protect them from browse, as well as act like a greenhouse to create a microclimate to maximize growth. An open hillside at the new Trout Brook Nature Preserve presents itself as an excellent opportunity to monitor the effects of different tube types, tube colors, and tube heights on bur oak growth, establishment and survivability. Read more...

Urban Tree Rapid Health Assessment with UAS

Researcher: Michael Bahe

Method for individual urban tree health assessment using multispectral imagery captured from a drone. Provided is the internal report for the first iteration of using miniature camera that have band pass filters for collecting red and near-infrared light. By using data collected in wavelengths from these two spectrums we can calculate the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) which has shown promise for early detection of tree stress. The full internal report is available here: A Method for Individual Urban Tree Rapid Assessment Using Low Altitude Multispectral Imagery 

Using Drones to Monitor the Health of Individual Newly Planted Trees

Researcher: Michael Bahe

Survival of newly planted trees is critical to a sustainable forest in urban areas. Trees planted in these areas are typically purchased from commercial nurseries and delivered for planting in a variety of forms. With the help of low altitude drone imaging, a quantifiable, genus specific, healthy baseline is being established using the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) calculated using low altitude aerial imagery. Read more...