Twins find new home for Target Field black spruces

  • Article by: PAUL WALSH , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 1, 2011 - 12:05 AM

Most of the trees are being replanted in state parks; two will go to Twins fans.

A relocation plan was announced Monday for the black spruce trees that were situated beyond the center-field wall during the inaugural season of Target Field.

Ten of the 14 trees, which some Twins batters said were a distraction while at the plate, will be replanted in state parks, the team said.

As for the other four:

• Two will be transplanted near the entrance to the Target Field parking lot on Twins Way.

• One will be auctioned off online to benefit the Minnesota Twins Community Fund. Details will be announced soon.

• One will be given away in a contest for season-ticket holders.

The trees were removed from Target Field last week and transported to Bergen's Greenhouse in Forest Lake, where arborists are caring for them.

In their place will be a honeycombed aluminum panel that's punctuated with small holes.

For Twins hitters, moving the Minnesota-grown trees was more about safety than performance at the plate.

At TwinsFest in January, right fielder Michael Cuddyer said the trees "cast three different shades on the background -- in the view of the hitter. Especially those 3 o'clock games on Saturday, it's scary. It's literally scary. ... I'm literally scared I'm not going to see the ball, period."

Before being uprooted, each tree was authenticated by a Major League Baseball official as being the actual trees from Target Field. The official marked the trees with the official MLB hologram attached to a thick cable-tie near the top.

"All of the trees were professionally uprooted, properly bundled and successfully shipped to the greenhouse," said Larry DiVito, the Twins' head groundskeeper. "They will be cared for indoors until the weather is right to replant them."

Courtland Nelson, director of the state Department of Natural Resources' Division of Parks and Trails, said his department has identified several state parks where the trees will be replanted this spring, among them: Father Hennepin and Mille Lacs Kathio, both near Lake Mille Lacs; Interstate, in Taylors Falls; Tettegouche, north of Two Harbors; and Banning, near Sandstone.

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