TOLEDO (WTOL) - A popular spot in Oak Openings will be shrinking come mid-November.
The Toledo Metroparks are going out with the old, and in with the new at their largest park.
So many have come to love the big red pines that are scattered throughout the park, but the number of those trees will be about a quarter less by the end of January.
Metropark leaders said they are going to be removing about 80 acres of red pines. They said this will allow for new growth in the area. The pine tree management plan impacts only two percent of the nearly 5,000-acre park.
"Our primary objective is for managing the resources that we are entrusted with not only now, but for future generations,” said Tim Schetter, director of natural resources for the Metroparks. “We want to do what’s best for the park in the long-term.”
Leaders said the pines were planted in 1955 and are now not healthy. Several have collapsed and are dying impacting the entire area. They added that it started a while ago after beetles invaded the trees and removing a portion of the red pines is essential for the healthy trees in the same area.
The park will bring in a master logger to remove the pines and sell the timber. The trails nearby will be closed during the work, but will reopen with some red pine trees remaining.
Metropark leaders expect to generate about $70,000 which will be used to restore the land to its natural habitat.
“The natural regeneration of the red oaks and oak trees moving into this area which is much more valuable to the wildlife that live here through a food source, habitat and nesting areas along with a host of other different reasons,” said Tim Gallaher, natural resources manager with the Metroparks. “There’s not much benefit to most species in a monoculture red pine.”
The project is expected to wrap up in late January with regrowth expected to come for the next several years.
If you want to learn more or see the red pines for yourself the Metropark staff will host an open house this Sunday from 1 p.m. until 3 p.m. in the Buehner Center at the Mallard Lake Area of Oak Openings.