Stone Ditch Jack Pine (MN DNR)

State or Province
Nearest city or town
Describe the location
Littlefork District, Littlefork Forestry Area, Koochiching State Forest
State - Trust
Cover type
Forest health threats
Adaptive silviculture options
Silviculture system
Estimated year of stand origin
Additional information about stand origin
Stand harvested Fall 2011, hand seeded Spring 2012
Site index
59 feet
for species
jack pine
Brief silvicultural objective
To regenerate jack pine after clearcutting with reserve trees, at 800 trees per acre with 95% stocking of desirable trees, 75% stocking of jack pine that is free-to-grow.
Site preparation method
Soil texture
Soil details
B58B—Wurtsmith-Meehan complex, 0 to 4 percent slopes. From the USDA soil survey: The Wurtsmith series consists of very deep, moderately well drained soils formed in sandy outwash and lacustrine deposits on outwash plains, lake plains, beach ridges, dunes,
Stand area
9 acres
Treatment area
9 acres

48.244778, -93.5073


This stand was managed by clearcut with reserves.  The goal of management is to have a fully stocked, even-aged stand of jack pine.  Additional treatments were prescribed to ensure the jack pine component is adequate.

Silviculture Objective(s)

On DNR Forestry lands, jack pine seeding is checked several times for appropriate trees per acre and stocking.  This stand will have standards checked at year 3, 6, and 10 after seeding in 2012.  The regeneration is considered adequate if it meets the standard of 600-800 trees/acre, with 75% stocking in year 3.  By year 10, 500-600 trees/acre with 75% stocking is acceptable.

Pre-treatment stand description and condition

Stand establishment and management history: 

Stand was managed previously for jack pine.  Aerial photos from 1940 show the area clearcut. 

Pre-treatment species composition: 

Jackpine averaged 6-7 sticks, 10-11" dbh, and 31 cords/acre.  Aspen averaged 6 sticks, 11" dbh, and 7 cords/acre. Balsam Fir averages 3 sticks, 7" dbh, and 2.3 cords/acre. Mixed

spruce (90% white and 10% black) averaged 3-4 sticks, 8"dbh, and 2 cords/acre. Birch averaged 3 sticks, 8-9" dbh, and 1 cd/acre.

Silviculture Prescription

Stand was harvested with conventional equipment fall 2011.

Harvest restrictions included:

  • Reserve dead or cull aspen or jack pine for larger than 10” diameter for snag trees.
  • Conduct falling and skidding operations during snow free, dry soil conditions only, to encourage scarification of soil for jack pine seedling establishment.  Dry soil conditions suitable for harvest operations will be evaluated and approved by the DNR Forestry sale administrator prior to starting harvest operations.
  • Biomass harvest is not allowed on permit.
  • Scatter jack pine slash evenly across entire cutting area.  All other species is to be full tree skidded and slash piled tightly near the landing as directed by sale administrator.

Stand was anchor chained for scarification in October 2011 by a local contractor.  Anchor chains are owned by the Northeast Region DNR Forestry.  Hand seeding of 3 oz./acre jack pine seed occurred May 2012 by DNR Forestry personnel.  Brush saw release with a contract crew occurred September 2015.

Black and white aerial photo of study site in 1940.

Figure 1: 1940 b/w aerial photo of harvest site.

Figure 2: Infrared aerial photo showing Stone Ditch jack pine stand before harvest. 

Figure 3: 2014 color aerial photo of Stone Ditch jack pine reforestation site showing site 2 growing seasons after hand seeding.

Post-treatment assessment

Regeneration check November 2015 with 1/100th acre plots

  • Jack pine 100% stocking, 2356/acre
  • Aspen, 78% stocked, 543/acre

Figure 4: View of stone ditch hand seeded and natural jack pine regeneration at 3 years old.

Figure 5: View of 3 year old jack pine hand seeded and natural regeneration.

Plans for future treatments

Stand will be monitored for additional release treatments.  At this time, no future treatments are planned.

Costs and economic considerations

Anchor chaining cost $75/acre.

Jack pine seed (3 oz/acre seeding rate) supplied by Badoura state forest nursery cost $23.44/acre.

Brush release by contract crew cost $140/acre.

Total cost for 9 acres equals $2,145.96.