New project aims to bring more native trees to Missoula

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Robert Edwards pulls out hybrid poplar roots on Wednesday where the city is clearing land to grow its own trees to replace Missoula’s aging urban forest.

AJ Glueckert, left, stands by as Robert Edwards clears poplar roots on Wednesday.

Jordan Hansen

Deep within Missoula’s poplar tree farm off Mullan Road, crews are finishing up work clearing a 2.5-acre plot of land.

More trees will be planted in the fall and again in the spring at the site, but they won’t be more of the hybrid poplars, which help absorb chemicals from the sewage plant that are harmful to the Clark Fork River.

Instead, a variety of species that are either native to the area, near-native or climate resilient will be propagated.

Missoula has had a difficult time

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