It’s raining climate change in the Big Woods

Wed. Jan. 30, 2019

Click below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show:  It’s raining climate change in the Big Woods

It’s raining climate change in a State Park in Minnesota. The Minnesota DNR’s new Park Ranger for Nerstrand Big Woods, Katie Foshay, recently shared that 12% of the park is experiencing forest death due to lack of oxygen around flooded tree roots. Note:  photos courtesy of MnDNR

Big Woods mature tree die out

The loss of maples, oaks, basswood and more is devastating and, worse, Ash trees, that tolerate wet soil are sprouting up but they’re doomed due to Emerald Ash Borer.  

There’s about 200 acres of the Big Woods forest that’s dead or showing signs of dying due to changes in the rainfall pattern. Foshay says heavy rains are now more common and more intense than at any time on record.

Ponding on forest floor

Have you noticed that? My garden sure did last year in particular! The rains are coming more often in 1, 2 and 3 inch falls! Although things can dry out, the flat areas are not getting a long enough chance to breathe!  (meaning dry out)

In the Big Woods, there’s a layer of clay about an arms reach below the ground stops water from draining downward, creating pools of water at the roots.

Here’s a link to the full article. 

The Big Woods isn’t the only area, of course, that’s experiencing these issues.  The upper midwest is seeing our number of hotter days rising as well. The changes affect infrastructure, health, agriculture, forestry, transportation, air and water quality, and more.  

Scientists and others are working on ways to reduce carbon emissions but there are always things WE can do.  As gardeners, one thing is to create more gardens and less lawn! Now that’s something most of us can wrap our heads around!  More on that tomorrow….