News Flash

Home

Posted on: August 31, 2022

Community Corner: Reservoir Woods

In addition to more familiar birds, the “Woods” are home to indigo buntings, bluebirds, flycatchers, orioles and rose-breasted grosbeaks. There are hawks and owls, warblers and ducks. The park even hosts the state’s largest Butternut tree. In 2004 it was measured at 76 feet tall and 236 inches in circumference (75.1 inches in diameter). The butternut tree is considered to be an endangered species of tree. It is remarkable to have an intact natural area like this so close to an urban core. 

In the twenty years since the City of Roseville Parks and Recreation Natural Resource Management Final Report was released, city staff, consultants and volunteers together have removed invasive species and restored the prairie and woodlands. It is gratifying to see rue anemone and Jack-in-the-Pulpits growing where invasive European buckthorn used to be, and wild lupines bloom in response to a prescribed prairie burn. The work is ongoing, but overall, restoration efforts have been successful.  

Over the last year however, regular walkers in the Woods have seen trees taken down and others girdled and have expressed concern. 

Why are Trees Being Removed?

To answer this question requires an understanding of oaks.  Reservoir Woods is home to red, pin and white oaks, with bur oaks on drier upland slopes. These trees are invaluable to wildlife both for food (acorns) and shelter.  As a vital link in the food chain, oaks support the largest diversity and biomass of insects (think caterpillars) that birds need to feed themselves and their young, of any tree in North America. That we have old oak trees in Roseville, particularly broad, spreading bur oaks, is evidence of the land’s history as an oak-prairie plant community that existed long before Europeans settled here. Incompatible and excessive levels of grazing following Euromerican settlement and in the absence of regular fire as practiced by indigenous peoples, the forest became choked with shade-tolerant understory shrubs and trees, much of it non-native buckthorn. Because oak seedlings cannot survive such dense shade, the next generation of young oaks have not been able to establish to take the place of the aging oaks. 

Removing invasive, non-native shrubs and thinning select trees will help sustain the health of the remaining large oaks and improve the conditions for oak seedlings to grow and take the place of aging oaks. In areas where buckthorn is largely under control, attention has turned to other species that, while native and beneficial in limited quantities, can be invasive. Boxelder for example, produces copious windborne seeds. Aspen and sumac spread aggressively underground. These are the tree species targeted most recently. The City’s plan is to protect and continue ecological restoration work at Reservoir Woods. In time, our generation will have an opportunity to experience the vibrant plant communities our forebears once found.  

What Can You Do?

  • Manage invasive species like buckthorn and garlic mustard on your land. Plant a native oak tree in your yard. 
  • Contact the Volunteer Coordinator for the city of Roseville at rachel.boggs@cityofroseville to learn about volunteer restoration projects.  
  • Check out the Recreation Natural Resource Management Final Report for more information, including an inventory of species present in 2002, and a list of suggested native species to improve the quality of natural areas throughout the city.  

About the Author

Anna Newton has lived in Roseville since 2015, walks Reservoir Woods regularly with her husband and two Labrador Retrievers, and has volunteered in various capacities around town. She is an avid gardener and observer of nature.

Additional Info...
Facebook Twitter Email

Other News in Home

roseville-thanksgiving-closures

City Offices Closed November 24 and 25

Posted on: November 25, 2022
"Winter in Roseville" with a picture of a snowplow in the background.

Winter In Roseville

Posted on: November 14, 2022
volunteer-spotlight-jessica-raygor

Volunteer Spotlight: Jessica Raygor

Posted on: November 10, 2022
trick-or-treat-safety-icons-2

Trick-or-Treat Safety Tips

Posted on: October 31, 2022
2023-budget-update

2023 Budget Update

Posted on: October 27, 2022
drive-through-grocery-event

Free Drive-Through Grocery Event

Posted on: October 24, 2022
pocahontas-park

Help Rename Pocahontas Park

Posted on: October 13, 2022
Give blood at Roseville Fire Station on October 21 and receive a $10 gift card.

Give Blood and Receive a $10 Gift Card

Posted on: October 13, 2022
hehaling-gardens-muriel-sahlin

Sign up for Healing Gardens Guided Tour

Posted on: September 22, 2022
roseville-elections-2

2022 Roseville Election Results

Posted on: September 21, 2022
City Appoints Two New Commissioners

City Appoints Two New Commissioners

Posted on: September 21, 2022
Emerald Ash Borer

Emerald Ash Borer Update

Posted on: August 30, 2022
utility-bill

Understanding Your Utility Bill

Posted on: August 31, 2022
roseville-elections

2022 Election Candidate Forums

Posted on: August 24, 2022
Hispanic Heritage Month Graphic with designs

City Recognizes Hispanic Heritage Month

Posted on: August 26, 2022
2023-budget-by-function

2023 Budget Discussions Move Forward

Posted on: August 23, 2022
three volunteers pose for photo while planting red and green flowers along Lexington Avenue in Rosev

Lexington Ave In Bloom

Posted on: July 8, 2022
water faucet

Annual Water Quality Report Released

Posted on: June 30, 2022
mapping-prejudice

Mapping Prejudice in Ramsey County

Posted on: June 16, 2022
juneteenth-square

Juneteenth Celebration - @ The ROG

Posted on: June 16, 2022
plant-harvest-taste-enews

Free Kids Gardening Classes

Posted on: June 2, 2022
new-commissioners

City Appoints Three New Commissioners

Posted on: March 23, 2022
redistricting-graphic

Council approves new precinct maps

Posted on: March 29, 2022
Brosnahan

Q&A with Fire Chief David Brosnahan

Posted on: March 4, 2022
Open to Business photo

Roseville is Open to Business

Posted on: January 19, 2022
2022 Budget Graphic

2022 City Budget Finalized and Approved

Posted on: December 20, 2021