Itasca Greenhouse Tour Pics


5 year old buck +
Now that all the hard work is done, I thought i'd post the pics I took at Itasca Greenhouse when I went to pick up my trees.

This first pic below is of the water and nutrient delivery system they use. It operates at about the same power as a produce mister in the grocery store. It simply moves back and forth over the trees.

The next couple pics are just shots across the greenhouse. They are located right next to Minnesota Power's coal plant. They use the warm water discharge to heat their greenhouses. They can produce enough heat from that process alone as long as the temp doesn't drop below -20F. If it goes lower than that, they have to fire up the propane heaters.

These trees all sit on tables that can be shifted from side to side to allow workers to walk the length of the greenhouse. The entire area you see can be moved in seconds by one person turning a crank. It was very neat to see.

The owner told us that he got a limited amount of DCO seed from a person in Iowa. He is working on trying to grow those now. I immediately tried to attach my name to some to see if I could get them, and he was wise enough to make no promises. I even asked if he thought they could grow this far north and he wasn't sure. I did inform him on how highly prized the DCO's are among the deer community.
Impressive .
Neat pictures, thanks
When you pick up trees from Itasca, are they acclimatized to the outdoors and ready to go in the ground or do you have to harden them off?
Did you purchase their plugging tool and could you post a picture of it?
I did. I'll run outside and grab it outta the truck. It's a beast, but it's necessary...
Ok, here it is. Kinda impressed that we took the paint off it in the first outting. That thing punched a lot of holes.

This is the highest power one for the worst and rockiest soils. It's worth it. We have 4-10 inches of top soil depending where you are. Where we were hitting that hard wet clay, it took a ton of power to wedge the hole open. Had we gone with the flat bar, it wouldn't have been good. We also had to go as deep as the foot step to get a hole wide enough to get those large size 6 plugs in the ground. When we switched back to the 4a spruces, it was gravy again.

Here's a side view. It's about an inch and a quarter thick.


Here's a view staring at the tip of the point.

Very well constructed. I was surprised how heavy it was, but realized it was needed.


Wheel barrow handle sanded to size. I upgraded to a thicker bolt this year. 4a plug.

When you pick up trees from Itasca, are they acclimatized to the outdoors and ready to go in the ground or do you have to harden them off?
I'm not sure on this one. I didn't ask. I just ran with it.
Does that guy just do 4a holes, or can it also do larger plugs?

we do 4a with the metal point. we do 77s by making a pilot hole with the metal point and flipping it over and bore out the hole with the wooden handle tip.
Impressive place. A few years ago I stopped by and they had some nice bigger conifers that looked like they would provide cover in a hurry.
That Jim Timber tool: Does anyone that has one have troubles with the seedling pushing back outta the hole from water or frost later on?
I bought two of Jim's plug planting tools when he had posted them back in January. Since he just made them I don't think anyone would have the plugs in the ground long enough to know if they are getting pushed out at all? We used them over the weekend and they worked very good and I can't imagine that it would be an issue, but this is my first time planting them.

With Jim's plug tool you could easily make the hole too large for the 4a plugs but as long as you are paying attention I don't think it is an issue. And it worked well for mp45s and 77s by boring them out a little more as needed.
When you pick up trees from Itasca, are they acclimatized to the outdoors and ready to go in the ground or do you have to harden them off?

I also did not ask either, we drove up there and got our trees and got going down the road quickly. To the north of the greenhouse and main buildings they do have a tons of trees outside so I was thinking that those are probably the older trees getting used to the outdoors... I know nothing though :). If you look at the greenhouse on google earth you can see the trees to the north of the buildings, it looks like thousands of them!

This link should be zoomed it to show it: Greenhouse/@47.2608276,-93.6410043,166m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m2!3m1!1s0x0:0x6a6b003269f6aaca