AP NEWS

Canadian firm to grow 8M tree seedlings in Michigan

August 23, 2018

HAMBURG TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — A Canadian company plans to grow about 8 million tree seedlings a year in Michigan.

PRT Growing Services Ltd. has signed a 20-year lease with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Parks and Recreation Division, The Livingston Daily Press & Argus reported . The lease is for about 14 acres (5.6 hectares) at the Brighton State Recreation Area.

Plans call for the construction of a large commercial tree nursery with 22 greenhouses, outdoor raised beds, and production and office space.

“We have a fairly well developed base of customers from the (Great Lakes) region, but we had no local production there ... for growing and providing seedlings for reforestation,” PRT Growing Services CEO Rob Miller said.

The company will pay the state $1.4 million in rent over 20 years, said Nicole Toman, a regulatory unit manager for the state’s Parks and Recreation Division.

“In Brighton, we expect this nursery can expand further in the future,” she said. “When we build a facility like this, they are very long-term assets.”

The facility will create 50 seasonal jobs and a few year-round positions, Toman said. She expects growers will begin sowing red pine, jack pine and other tree varieties next spring.

The state’s Forest Resources Division had grown trees on the property for decades, said Mike Donnelly, park supervisor of the Brighton State Recreation Area.

“They were growing different types of trees, a lot of red pine and a lot of tamaracks, but the state has moved away from wanting to do that and instead contracted it out,” Donnelly said.

PRT sells its tree seedlings to park agencies, counties, the lumber industry and other private sector businesses.

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Information from: Livingston Daily Press & Argus, http://www.livingstondaily.com

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