Crews Hope To Revive Dying Oaks With Food Scraps

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Nearly 100 dying oak trees at Minnehaha Park could get a second chance at life because of some green technology.

Minneapolis Parks and Recreation crews are trying to save the trees and help them flourish by using food scraps.

They’re trying something called “Prescription Organic Matter” which is made up of food waste compost collected from around the Twin Cities.

It will be placed around the roots of the 96 oak trees at the picnic area at Minnehaha Park. The hope is the organic matter will help revitalize the tree roots.

The oak trees are in severe states of decline because of drought conditions and construction damage.

Crews started laying down the organic matter Tuesday morning. Researchers will be on site too, hoping to learn how the process could help struggling trees around the country.

  • TW

    So composting trees is a new idea and researchers will be there to observe. That’s just a genius idea. Why don’t they save the time and money and just plant trees that are better suited to that area? They made an oak savanna into a picnic area and the trees have been declining, nothing new about that. Oaks like to grow with shrubs and undergrowth around them and to much compaction on their roots is a killer. If they would set up a root zone perimeter and not allow traffic near them it would do the same and save on costs.

  • RMR

    Well, I have to respectfully disagree. Bur Oaks (white oak group) are native to open grassland – savanna. The shrubs that many see aound Bur Oaks today may not be native; when burning stopped, the dynamics of the plant community changed. Construction can severely damage root systems, as can compaction. The problem is that once this happens around mature trees it takes a gentle hand to repair the damage; soil compaction is equally damaging as most roots are within the top 12 inches of soil making the effort more daunting. If the trees are really in dire condition, then as a last resort, a injection of liquid nutrients would be a possible as any feed added to the soild will take months to break down. The injections could be done using the same methods used in injecting Elms.

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