Memorial Tree Planting Sites

Photo of a small pine

In 2018, the Chippewa National Forest will plant 1.4 million trees across the Forest thanks to partnerships with Arbor Day Foundation and National Forest Foundation. In 2017, the Forest Forest planted 1.6 million trees.

Donations made in memory of loved ones provide funding for reforestation projects, including areas around Norway Beach and Lake Winnibigoshish.     


In July 2012, straight-line winds moved through the Chippewa National Forest, blowing down an estimated 95,000 acres of the 666,542-acres of national forest land. Stands of mature conifer trees were snapped off and uprooted.

Replanting began in 2013, with crews planting red pine, white pine, white spruce, and balsam fir, tamarack, oak and cedar. These efforts have helped restore the section of forest damaged in the 2012 storm. Thank you to our partners and the many families who donated trees.

Visit a Tree Planting Site

Sign outside the Memorial Tree Planting Wooden entrance sign for the Birches Picnic area

The Forest receives many calls from people hoping to visit a tree planting site. Two sites have been designated as the main area for visitors to view newly planted seedlings.  

Tamarack Road/Birches Picnic Area

The Birches Picnic Area is 2.4 miles off County Road 9.  New pine seedlings have been planted along the road just ½ mile before the Picnic Area driveway.  This open areaThis accessible lakeside picnic spot is a peaceful area to view the newly planted trees, remember loved ones and appreciate the beauty of the northwoods.

Directions to Birches Picnic Area: From Deer River, Minn., take Highway 2 one mile west to Highway 46 north. Travel 12 miles north to County Road 9, also known as the Winnie Dam Road. Turn west on County 9, travel six miles to the Tamarack Road, Forest Road 2163. You will see a see a Forest Service sign for Tamarack Campground and Birches Picnic Area.  Follow this gravel road three miles to the Birches Picnic Area.

Please note that while a sign will be installed identifying the Memorial Tree Planting Site, the seedlings are not individually identified or labeled in any way.

Area Map | Enlarged Area Map

Norway Beach Recreation Area

Wooden entrance sign for Norway BeachVisitors may also wish to view seedlings planted at the Norway Beach Recreation Area entrance. This area was also heavily damaged in the 2012 storm, with over 1,800 pines toppled with the strong winds just in the ¼ mile stretch of road at the entrance. An interpretive panel is located along the side of the Norway Beach entrance road. 

After visiting this planting site, drive in to the Norway Beach Visitor Center to see the big pines that remain. Campers return to this area year after year to take in the 200-year old red pines. Norway Beach is name for the Norway, or red, pines. Take a moment to watch the waves along the long stretch of beach, and stop by the Visitor Center to learn more about your National Forest.

Directions to the Norway Beach Recreation Area: From Cass Lake, Minn., take Highway 2 east and travel five miles to the Norway Beach entrance. A large Chippewa National Forest campground sign marks the entrance. 

Identifying Trees

Here are some simple ways to identify the trees found in the memorial tree planting area.

  • Red pine needles are found in clusters of two. Pine cones are short and round. 

  • White pine needles are found in clusters of five (W-H-I-T-E). Pine cones are long and often covered in a white sap.

  • White spruce needles are short and sharp, while balsam fir needles are flat and fragrant.