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Weight Loss Clinic with Semaglutide in Woodland, MN

We offer advanced health and wellness treatments and new advanced therapies

Weight Loss Clinic With Semaglutide Woodland, MN

An Advanced Weight Loss Solution from LX Medical

LX Medical's weight loss program has helped numerous patients achieve their weight loss goals, live a healthy life, and enjoy total well-being for years. At LX Medical, we believe that weight loss shouldn't be centered around a one-size-fits-all mentality. Our doctors and practitioners create custom weight loss programs that are tailored to your unique body, rather than creating plans based off of someone matching your age or weight. With our team's support, you can achieve real results and start living life without the extra pounds.

That's important in the modern world, where maintaining good health and fitness has become more important than ever. Research has shown that viruses and diseases are more likely to affect people who are overweight and unhealthy. Unfortunately, there are many "miracle" supplements and unhealthy diet plans that mislead people into thinking that weight loss is not beneficial. Furthermore, weight loss "experts" often offer unstructured and unsupervised programs that do more harm than good.

At LX Medical, we prioritize the well-being of our patients when it comes to weight loss. Our approach is patient-centric, focusing on personalized treatments. Our doctors first evaluate your lifestyle habits, and we work with you to replace negative patterns with positive, personalized lifestyle changes. This is crucial for achieving optimal wellness and weight loss. Benefits of losing weight include:

  • Lower Triglycerides
  • Lower Blood Pressure
  • Lower Risk of Heart Attack
  • Lower Risk of Stroke
  • Better Mobility
  • Less Joint Pai
  • More Energy
  • Better Mood
  • Increased Libido
  • Much More

However, losing weight is only the beginning. To keep weight off permanently, adopting a healthy, active lifestyle is essential. At LX Medical, we help you achieve this by implementing manageable, positive lifestyle changes that jumpstart your weight loss journey. By making healthy behaviors a part of your daily routine, you can achieve your weight loss goals and become the best version of yourself.

One of the most successful treatments we offer to help patients shed pounds safely is peptide therapy for weight loss in Woodland, MN. In fact, peptides for weight loss, such as semaglutide (also known as Ozempic and Wegovy, MOTS-C,) and AOD-9604, have been proven to be effective and have helped countless men and women live life at a healthy weight.

Weight Loss Clinic With Semaglutide Woodland, MN
Weight Loss Clinic With Semaglutide Woodland, MN

Peptides Explained

Consisting of amino acids, peptides help regulate the biological processes and functions in your body. As the building blocks of protein, they are crucial for your overall health. Unfortunately, however, many men and women suffer from peptide deficiency. Peptide therapy gives your body the peptides it needs, improving your ability to:

  • Burn Fat
  • Keep Weight Off
  • Heal Wounds
  • Build Muscle Mass
  • Reverse Fatigue
  • Much More

Peptide therapy is often used alongside other treatment plans from LX Medical, such as our custom weight loss plans. That's where peptides like semaglutide and AOD-9604 come into play.

What is Peptide Therapy for Weight Loss in Woodland, MN?

Peptide therapy is often used to boost hormones and support our total well-being. Different types of peptides can target different areas of our health. For example, some collagen peptide supplements can help make our skin, hair, and gut healthier. Other peptides, like semaglutide and AOD-9604, can help facilitate healthy weight loss.

Peptide therapy works in a different way than vitamin supplements. When we take a multivitamin for our hair, skin, and nails, our body must absorb the nutrients. But sometimes, our body can't absorb all the nutrients, so they just leave our body through our urine. Peptides, on the other hand, are part of the proteins in our bodies, making them easier to benefit from and absorb.

But what about peptide therapy for weight loss? The truth is there are various peptides that have different effects, including some that facilitate weight loss. However, weight loss is a nuanced process that involves multiple factors such as diet, exercise, age, genetics, and lifestyle. While peptides can assist you in achieving your weight loss goals, they are most effective when combined with improvements like a healthier diet, more frequent exercise, and better life choices. If you've tried various weight loss plans and diets, but haven't had any success, peptides like semaglutide and ADO-9604 may be the extra boost you need to experience true weight loss.

The Best Peptides for Weight Loss in Woodland, MN

A recent study in the Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism found that people who used peptides in conjunction with a weight loss plan experienced incredible results. More specifically, patients reported a 14% reduction in body fat on average. Two of the most popular peptides for weight loss also happen to be FDA-approved and, when appropriate, part of your weight loss journey with LX Medical.

Those peptides are semaglutide and AOD-9604 and are touted for their therapeutic benefits and long-term safety profile. If you're looking for a little extra help to lose weight and keep it off for good, peptide therapy for weight loss could be for you.

Weight Loss Clinic With Semaglutide Woodland, MN

Semaglutide for Weight Loss

Looking to shed some pounds and keep them off for good? Diet and exercise are crucial, but for busy adults and parents, sticking to a routine is easier said than done. If you need extra help losing weight, consider semaglutide. This injection, approved by the FDA for diabetes and obesity, can stimulate GLP-1 receptors in the brain to aid in quicker weight loss and long-term health.

Semaglutide works in several ways. First, it acts as glucagon in your body, which helps tell your brain that you're full and don't need to eat anymore. Secondly, it slows down the time it takes for food to transit out of your stomach. This process reduces unnecessary eating and snacking throughout the day. Perhaps more importantly, it reduces glucose spikes after you eat, which causes a litany of issues like inflammation.

Semaglutide also helps your pancreas secrete insulin while making you insulin sensitive. This regulates glucose levels in your body and how your body metabolizes that glucose. Additionally, by reducing inflammation in your body, you benefit from powerful anti-aging and longevity properties.

When combined with a healthy diet and regular exercise, semaglutide can provide:

  • Long-Lasting Weight Loss
  • Reduced Risk of Heart Disease
  • Regulated Glucose Levels
  • Insulin Control
  • Body Fat Reduction
  • More Energy
  • Better Recovery
  • Less Inflammation

Semaglutide Cycle Info

Unlike other weight loss clinics, at LX Medical, you can enjoy the benefits of semaglutide from the comfort of your office or home. Injections are administered once a week. Once you've met your weight loss goals, you can reduce your intake to a minimum dose for additional positive effects like ongoing weight management. You can also quit taking semaglutide entirely. If you opt to stop, our medical weight loss team can chat with you about other types of peptide therapy for weight loss in Woodland, MN.

AOD-9604 for Weight Loss

This peptide, which is often used in conjunction with semaglutide regimens, stimulates the breakdown of fat while inhibiting lipogenesis and supporting your tendons and cartilage. It has grown in popularity because of its ability to boost your metabolism, which helps burn fat. What's great about AOD-9604 is that it stimulates the pituitary gland but does not affect tissue growth or blood sugar. Perhaps most impressive is that this peptide can burn fat without you feeling the need to overeat as a result.

In fact, AOD-9604 activates your body's fat-burning processes using its own unique mechanism without needing an HGH receptor. It also releases obese fat cells and reduces new fat cell accumulation. One of the most notable benefits of AOD-9604 is its ability to regulate blood sugar and manage insulin levels, which can lead to reduced inflammation and weight loss. Additionally, AOD-9604 can aid in building muscle, similar to growth hormones. Its benefits extend beyond fat loss, as it contains regenerative properties that may be beneficial for individuals with various conditions, such as:

  • Diabetes
  • Depression
  • Damage to Bones
  • Damaged or Worn-Out Cartilage
  • Arthritis
  • More

With the ability to reduce fat that is stored in your abdominal region, this weight-loss peptide is very popular for older people with stubborn belly fat. It is also often used by people who have tried other diets and weight loss plans but had little or no success.

Gut Health Peptides for Weight Loss and Well-Being

At LX Medical, our doctors offer a range of peptide therapies for your health and well-being. Peptides like semaglutide and AOD-9604 are often used as part of a comprehensive peptide therapy plan, crafted by LX Medical specialists for your body. If you're interested in losing weight, gut health peptides like BPC-157, Thymulosin Alpha, Thymulosin Beta, and GHK-Cu can be incredibly beneficial along your weight loss journey.

BPC-157

This naturally occurring peptide, sometimes called the "Body Protection Compound," is secreted in your gut and helps repair its lining. It works by helping your body be in a constant state of restoration and repair, providing powerful anti-inflammatory effects. This process helps with issues like:

  • Joint Pain
  • Wound Healing
  • Tissue Damage
  • Inflammation
  • Free Radical Protection
  • More

When it comes to losing weight, BPC-157 is often included in peptide therapy for weight loss in Woodland, MN, because it can help reduce pain and inflammation resulting from new or increased exercise efforts. As noted previously, exercise and diet are key in long-term weight loss, and BPC-157 can make those efforts easier.

Weight Loss Clinic With Semaglutide Woodland, MN

BPC-157 Cycle Info

This peptide is injected once a day, with courses ranging from 30 to 60 days. After you finish the injection course, consider BPC-157 oral supplements to maintain its benefits.

Weight Loss Clinic With Semaglutide Woodland, MN

Thymulosin Alpha

Thymosin Alpha-1 is a powerful immune system modulator that helps you resist infections, illnesses, and disease. By naturally stimulating T cells to locate and eliminate viruses, bacteria, and even tumor cells, this peptide prompts your body to respond to these invasive organisms, making your immune system naturally stronger and more effective.

Numerous clinical studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of Thymosin Alpha-1 in regulating immunity and inflammation related to rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, and other conditions. Recent clinical studies have also shown promising results in using this peptide to fight lung, colon, breast, and other types of cancer. By reducing inflammation in your body and enhancing your immune system, you can optimize your body as you lose weight with the help of LX Medical.

Thymulosin Alpha Cycle Information

Patients inject this peptide every day for two weeks and then continue three times a week for 2.5 months.

Thymulosin Beta

Thymosin Beta-4 is a peptide consisting of 43 amino acids that is known to promote healing in the body and has anti-inflammatory properties. It occurs naturally in higher concentrations at injury sites and is a water-soluble protein that can regulate cell migration to a site. It is also very good at repairing tissue damage. The substance is not only beneficial for wound healing and skin repair but can also aid in the repair of the brain, spinal cord, and heart. Medical professionals consider Thymosin Beta-4 to be a safe and potent substance in both its natural and synthetic forms.

Like its Alpha counterpart, this peptide can be beneficial for individuals undergoing weight loss, and can help reduce the inflammation and pain associated with exercising and more.

Thymulosin Beta Cycle Information

Patients inject this peptide every day for two weeks and then continue three times a week for 2.5 months.

Weight Loss Clinic With Semaglutide Woodland, MN

GHK-Cu

Research suggests that GHK-CU functions as a feedback signal when tissue damage occurs. This peptide is effective in shielding damaged tissue, reducing inflammation, and replacing scarred tissue with healthy tissue. Although further research is necessary to determine its effectiveness on a larger scale, GHK-CU has already been proven to play a role in wound healing and inflammation reduction. Like other peptides for weight loss in Woodland, MN, GHK-Cu supports your gut health and weight loss efforts by lowering inflammation in your body, which often happens from changes to your diet or exercise regimens.

GHK-Cu Cycle Info

Patients should take this peptide for 20-30 days, especially when used for wound healing or as part of a more robust peptide therapy package.

Experience the LX Medical Weight Loss Difference

At LX Medical, we're proud to make better care possible.

We are a physician-led team of doctors, nurses, and health experts, advised by a panel of top healthcare leaders who are revolutionizing the power of house calls. In fact, all of our peptides for weight loss in Woodland, MN, can be applied in your home or office without having to wait in long lines or uncomfortable waiting rooms.

We offer exceptionally robust and personalized weight loss plans for patients who can't seem to lose extra weight. To do so, we use innovative weight loss medications such as semaglutide and AOD-9604. To supplement our patient's success, we bring with us advanced diagnostic technology, IV fluids, and medications, with access to outpatient imaging and lab centers. Unlike some weight loss centers, we only staff highly-trained medical professionals and advanced practice providers with experience and compassion.

Are you sick and tired of the way that you look and feel every day? Is your health getting out of control? Are you ready to break out of your cage and lose weight the right way? If you're ready to begin your journey to weight loss success, our team is here to guide you along the way. Contact LX Medical today to get started.

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phone-number612-662-5448

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Latest News in Woodland, MN

Woodland Dentistry to move to new building on Third Avenue in Alexandria

ALEXANDRIA – The corner of Third Avenue and Jefferson Street, across from Orb Management and Real Estate, will soon have a new tenant – Woodland Dentistry.The dental office, owned and operated by Tyler Geyen, is expanding into a brand new, much larger facility.“What prompted this is patient demand,” said Geyen, who bought the business from Dr. Alan Quam nearly seven years ago. “We are busy keeping up with patient demand at our current office and realized our lack of patient rooms is preventing time...

ALEXANDRIA – The corner of Third Avenue and Jefferson Street, across from Orb Management and Real Estate, will soon have a new tenant – Woodland Dentistry.

The dental office, owned and operated by Tyler Geyen, is expanding into a brand new, much larger facility.

“What prompted this is patient demand,” said Geyen, who bought the business from Dr. Alan Quam nearly seven years ago. “We are busy keeping up with patient demand at our current office and realized our lack of patient rooms is preventing timely care for our patients.”

Currently, the office is located on Hawthorne Street, which Geyen said has been great, but he also noted that he is excited to bring his office and business to Third Avenue and that he hopes it helps to give that part of town a facelift.

The building he is in now was built in about 1980, he said, and does not allow for any type of expansion. In addition, it is in a more residential part of Alexandria, whereas the space on Third Avenue is more commercial.

About a year and a half ago, he hired another dentist – Dr. Jacob Aberle – because of patient demand and the two of them offer a full range of services ranging from common dentistry practices like fillings, dentures, crowns and dental care for kids. They also offer sedation dentistry, including dental implants, wisdom tooth extractions, oral surgery and root canals to name a few. And they do all their own orthodontic work.

“With our combination of services we offer, that is why we are so busy and need more space,” said Geyen. “We really like being able to take care of families all the way through all their family needs. Our practice philosophy is to take care of families from start to finish.”

The new building will face both Third Avenue and Second Avenue and patients will have a view of the lake when they are having services done, said Geyen.

Geyen has been working with Katie Botker of Infinite Design Consulting for the design work of the building and the space. He said the new building will be two stories and will feature space on the second floor for another business.

“I am open to whatever the interest is, whether it is a single tenant or break the space into multiple,” said Geyen. “We’re creating space for our dental office and then creating space for another business."

As it stands right now, site work on the property will begin in September with hopes that the new facility will be finished up in 2023.

Geyen said that although patient demand is what prompted the move, he also said that what he is trying to do within his team of 11, which includes himself, is to create the right culture and the right environment and that they do that best with the relationships they’ve built. But, he said that what they need for the right environment is the right space and a new facility can offer what they need to expand and grow.

Possible donation?

On the piece of property that Geyen purchased sits a home that he currently owns and rents out. He is working on the possibility of donating the house and is working out the details. Nothing has been set in stone yet, he said.

'Snowhenge' rises again in Duluth's Woodland neighborhood, this time as a castle

DULUTH — A Woodland couple has rebuilt their COVID-19-friendly outdoor meeting space again this winter. "Snowhenge" is back and taller than before with a few new special features.Norm Boucher built the wind-blocking fire pit out of snow last year in order to meet with friends and family while COVID-19 kept people from gathering with loved ones indoors. It was christened "Snowhenge" by a friend of the family because it was a "magical place" according to Norm's wife, Kay Boucher."That was ...

DULUTH — A Woodland couple has rebuilt their COVID-19-friendly outdoor meeting space again this winter. "Snowhenge" is back and taller than before with a few new special features.

Norm Boucher built the wind-blocking fire pit out of snow last year in order to meet with friends and family while COVID-19 kept people from gathering with loved ones indoors. It was christened "Snowhenge" by a friend of the family because it was a "magical place" according to Norm's wife, Kay Boucher.

"That was so nice last year," Norm said. "So I thought it would be fun to bring it back again."

Initially Norm set out to build a structure much like the one he'd built last year — a 20-foot circle with 7-foot-high walls on all sides. But this year's structure grew a little beyond last year's project thanks to an abundance of snow.

"We started out on Christmas Eve with my whole family here," Kay said. "We practically had no snow left in the yard because they'd rolled it all up in huge snowballs. It was about waist high back then and we had a fire to celebrate its start."

After an abundance of snow following New Year's, Norm got to work carving out snow blocks from the packed snow in his yard. He'd cut 16-inch blocks and stack them on top of each other. He also used a snow blower to push all the snow from the driveway and yard toward the structure. Finally he had the walls up and formed, but one wall was already starting to sag.

"So I thought, what can I do to keep it from falling in on us?" Norm said. "Then a friend said that it kind of looks like a castle. It just needed a turret. So I did that."

The turret added some structural integrity to the sagging wall.

"I was going to make a little family crest to put up there too, but I didn't quite get that done," Norm said.

"You're the only construction worker I know who doesn't get the winters off because your construction material is snow," said Dean Fox, a friend of the Bouchers who visits with them in the structure.

In order to reduce the wind, Norm built two arched entrances into the seating area. The tall arches allow people to enter easily, but block the wind from shooting across.

"It's plenty warm in here," Kay said. "Even if it's -17 outside, it's pretty comfortable in here."

"Oh yeah, it's warm," said a visiting friend Kelly Lacore. "I'm making plans for our yard next year now."

Although last year was the first year Norm built a snow structure like this in Duluth, he remembers making snow forts and tunnels in North Dakota. He grew up in Minot, where the wind would push snow into 12-14 foot drifts.

"So even when it was 10-15 below, as long as there was no wind, we'd be out there digging away and making our own forts," Norm said. "I even made an igloo once when I was a young adult. It turned out OK, but I'm sure you wouldn't be able to sleep in it for long."

Norm said he enjoys the project because it gives him something to do and gets him outside.

"A lot of people, when it's cold like this, don't spend much time outside. Maybe they'll go skiing or something," he said. "But if you're not very athletic, like me, this is a good way to spend time outside. I'd rather gather people around and just look at the fire and enjoy their company."

1/9: A wooden sign that reads Snowhenge hangs inside a snow fort located outside of the home of Norm and Kay Boucher in Duluth as seen on Thursday, Feb. 3, 2022.

Minnesota logging company takes an ecological approach - Marketplace

John Rajala hiked into a 6,000-acre tract of land he calls Wolf Lake Camp that his family bought over 50 years ago.“This is hallowed ground that we’re about to walk into now,” he said on that fall day.He’s a fourth-generation logger, an Ivy League grad who says he’s as much a tree hugger as he is a tree cutter.A hawk soared overhead among old-growth pines. More than 20 other species of trees — from yellow bi...

John Rajala hiked into a 6,000-acre tract of land he calls Wolf Lake Camp that his family bought over 50 years ago.

“This is hallowed ground that we’re about to walk into now,” he said on that fall day.

He’s a fourth-generation logger, an Ivy League grad who says he’s as much a tree hugger as he is a tree cutter.

A hawk soared overhead among old-growth pines. More than 20 other species of trees — from yellow birch to red oak — surround clear lakes. It seems like a protected park, but there are signs that this is a working forest.

“There’s a two-year-old stump, there’s a 15-year-old stump,” he pointed out. Then he stopped in front of a giant white pine tree. He estimates it’s about 120 years old.

“It is of immense quality, because it is nearly 24 feet to the first limb. And that’s music to a logger and a sawmiller’s ears and eyes,” Rajala said, because it could be made into long, straight, valuable timbers.

But “I don’t know that we’ll ever cut this tree down,” he added.

Rajala’s company practices a more ecological approach to forestry than clearcutting. He leaves behind many of the most valuable trees for the health of the forest and to provide seeds for future big trees.

It’s a different approach for the forests around the Great Lakes, where logging often meant clearcutting, and then letting the woods grow back with fast-growing trees.

“We’re in the lumber business. We’re in the millwork business. We need these trees for our mill, but we need them for a seed source more,” Rajala said. “So we just have to be patient.”

But it can be hard to be patient on the timescale of a tree.

“Profits have to be deferred for when you cut the big trees. And that could be 80 years down the line,” said John Pastor, a retired forest ecologist at the University of Minnesota Duluth, who’s written a new book on the white pine.

But there is eventually a payoff, Pastor said, for those who spend the time actively managing the forest and delaying their harvest.

“Then, when you cut that tree, it’s going to be a really valuable tree,” he said. “So that’s the trade-off.”

On a nearby plot of land on the Chippewa National Forest, U.S. Forest Service ecologist Brian Palik said more landowners are interested in this kind of forestry — one that manages for a diversity of tree species and ages, and tries to mimic nature by cutting down select trees to imitate a fire or a windstorm.

But it’s not a widespread approach.

“Because to be able to do this takes resources,” Palik said. “And you have to be able to sell timber in some form or fashion to be able to pay for the kind of management that we’re looking at here.”

John Rajala said he pays for that forest management by selling high-quality products at a premium price.

In a big metal building nearby in the tiny town of Deer River, Minnesota, workers transform freshly cut trees from the forest Rajala hiked earlier into wood paneling and other custom products.

“That is some really special stuff,” he said as he held up a long plank of six-inch-wide paper birch flooring. He said this sells for $6 a square foot. That’s more expensive than at a big box store.

But he said, he’s confident there’s a market for it.

“Minnesotans care about their forests. And if we can tap into their desire to play a role in that, well, this is a win-win,” he said. “And a huge amount of the money that is generated from this revenue is going back into the forest.”

Rajala estimates 50% of his profits are used to manage the forest to grow and sustain future generations of trees.

After 112 years of operation, youth treatment facility in Duluth closing

Known for its decades of treatment of juvenile offenders from across the state, The Hills Youth and Family Services will cease its Duluth operation July 2.The announcement Monday came a week after the organization closed its facility for mental health services in East Bethel, Minnesota, citing pandemic repercussions and a lack of state financial support.Formerly known as Woodland Hills, The Hills Youth and Family Services is a 140-acre juvenile residential treatment facility located in the Woodland neighborhood of Duluth. It pr...

Known for its decades of treatment of juvenile offenders from across the state, The Hills Youth and Family Services will cease its Duluth operation July 2.

The announcement Monday came a week after the organization closed its facility for mental health services in East Bethel, Minnesota, citing pandemic repercussions and a lack of state financial support.

Formerly known as Woodland Hills, The Hills Youth and Family Services is a 140-acre juvenile residential treatment facility located in the Woodland neighborhood of Duluth. It provided trauma-informed programming for at-risk youth and their families, including free after-school care, youth mental health services and residential treatment for adolescents in the justice system.

"This is an unfortunate outcome that no one wanted and a devastating blow to children’s mental health services in Minnesota," said Leslie Chaplin, chief operating officer. "Our focus now is to ensure the children in our care are transitioned in the best possible manner to new placements that will meet their needs."

The Hills in Duluth currently has 34 young people in residential treatment and 99 employees on its payroll, it told the News Tribune.

On the crest of the pandemic in March 2020, The Hills opened the new location in East Bethel. Dubbed "Cambia Hills of East Bethel," the $26 million, 60-bed facility opened to pandemic restrictions that limited the number of patients it could serve.

What had been the future of the organization then turned albatross, in part, Chaplin said, after rate increases — the cost the state of Minnesota pays to house people on treatment waivers — failed to materialize.

"Unfortunately, due to extraordinarily high fixed costs, the state’s inaction on rate adjustments and the fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, the East Bethel facility and The Hills faced an insurmountable financial burden," Chaplin said. "We have pursued every avenue available to us to find a viable financial solution, but time and our options have run out and we must close the facility."

In 2018, The Hills in Duluth was sued over the alleged sexual abuse of several boys in its care. A confidential settlement was only recently reached in the lawsuit.

For the time being, The Hills' community programs, including a free after-school program in the Central Hillside neighborhood, will continue to operate.

"We are making every effort to secure the support of the Duluth and surrounding communities and find new operators for these important programs prior to July 2," Chaplin said.

Chaplin used the news release to reflect on the history of the organization, calling it "one of success, resiliency, integrity and hope."

"Since its founding as an orphanage in 1909, countless lives have been changed for the better within our walls and throughout our community," Chaplin said. "As we close our doors, we reflect on the success of our alumni and the unwavering hope and opportunity that our organization has offered to so many youth and families. Our legacy will live on through the youth we’ve served and the staff who began and cultivated their careers here, many of whom are now industry leaders throughout the country."

Know your backyard woodpeckers: 7 birds you might see in Minnesota and how to tell them apart

Home & Garden 600240358 No, they don't kill trees. But we offer some tips to keep them away from your house siding.January 3, 2023 — 5:00amJim Williams Save "Woodpecker," we think,...

Home & Garden 600240358

No, they don't kill trees. But we offer some tips to keep them away from your house siding.

January 3, 2023 — 5:00am

Jim Williams

"Woodpecker," we think, when we see a black and white bird at our feeder or on a tree trunk, lumping members of a diverse family together. But which one is it?

Woodpeckers deserve a second look, because there's more to these interesting birds than initially meets the eye. For one thing, they show a great deal of variation in size, with tiny downy woodpeckers dwarfed by the other species, especially their big cousins, the pileateds. We associate woodpeckers with trees, but one, the Northern flicker, really prefers to forage on the ground, for ants and other insects.

Most do spend the bulk of their time in trees, but use different pecking styles to forage, dictated by the size of their beaks, from the small pick of a downy to the massive chisel of a pileated.

Even in winter, this family of birds is mainly focused on insects, which make up three-fourths of their diet. They hunt the trees in their territory over and over so assiduously that it's a wonder there are any insects left to emerge in the spring. The small woodpeckers poke and peek into bark crevices, while the mid-sizers, the hairy and red-bellied, drill past the bark to find insect larvae. Pileateds use their large, powerful beaks to reveal galleries full of plump carpenter ants, leaving behind large holes.

Which brings us to a major question people often have about woodpeckers: Do they kill trees?

And the answer is no; woodpeckers rarely, if ever, do significant harm to healthy trees. If woodpeckers are chipping into a tree, it almost certainly is already diseased or damaged, which draws insects, which, in turn, attract the woodpeckers.

"Woodpeckers are part of the natural function of the forest and excavate cavities to extract insects in dead or dying trees," says Lee Frelich, director of the University of Minnesota's Center for Forest Ecology.

They also excavate holes in trees in springtime to hold their offspring, and then, when the youngsters fledge, the family leaves and the hole goes up for grabs. Any one of the many residents of the forest will then claim the space, from gray, red or flying squirrels to cavity-nesting birds like Eastern bluebirds, great-crested flycatchers, chickadees or small owls, like saw-whets or screeches.

If your home has a wood exterior, you may feel differently about woodpeckers than do those of us whose homes are brick, stucco or vinyl-sided (see box for deterrence sources).

Here are bios of the most common tree-pecking birds you might see at your feeders this winter:

Downy woodpecker

Size: 6½ inches long, our smallest woodpecker, females bigger than males.

Range: Found nearly everywhere in U.S. and Canada, year-round.

Habits and habitat: The woodpecker most likely to visit feeders. Not shy, allows close approach. Bark forager, eats insects, berries, fruit, nuts, seeds, suet.

Markings: Only males have a red patch on the back of their head.

Call: Makes "pik" call or whinnies like a little horse.

Hairy woodpecker

Size: 9½ inches long, females bigger than males.

Range: Found nearly everywhere in U.S. and Canada, year-round.

Habits and habitat: Attracted to suet and peanut feeders. Quite shy, easily startled into flight. Drills into trees to find insects.

Markings: Only males have a red patch on the back of their head.

Call: Similar sounds to downies, but lower-pitched.

Red-bellied woodpecker

Size: 9½ inches long, both genders about the same size.

Range: Found in eastern half of U.S.

Habits and habitat: Will visit suet and peanut feeders. Shy, easily startled. Checks bark, drills into trees for insects.

Markings: Males have red-orange patch from nape to beak, females only on nape.

Call: Makes "cha" call and rolling "churr" sound.

Pileated woodpecker

Size: 16 ½ inches long, crow-sized, Minnesota's largest woodpecker.

Range: Found in eastern half of U.S., Pacific Northwest.

Habits and habitat: A woodland bird, sometimes found at suet feeders. Very nervy, easily startled. Excavates deep holes in fallen trees in search of carpenter ants.

Markings: Males have red cap and mustache, females show smaller red cap.

Call: Call is a daffy "wuck" sound (think Woody Woodpecker).

Another three:

Northern flicker

Size: 12 ½ inches, males have black mustache.

Range: Many in our area shift south for the winter.

Diet: Attracted to suet and peanuts.

Yellow-bellied sapsucker

Size: 8 ½ inches, red forehead, yellow belly.

Range: Migratory, will return in spring.

Diet: Drills into trees for sap to drink.

Red-headed woodpecker

Size: 9 ¼ inches, both have red head, white belly.

Range: Uncommon in our area, habitat specialists.

Diet: Seldom seen at feeders, population in decline.

Deterring woodpeckers

Woodpeckers don't differentiate between trees and wood exteriors, and may create holes in siding and trim, which can create frustration among homeowners. Downy woodpeckers are usually the culprits, maybe partially due to the fact that they're our most abundant woodpecker.

It takes a concerted effort to stop them from drilling into your siding, and it's worth trying a variety of techniques. There are excellent tips for deterring woodpeckers at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology site birds.cornell.edu/wp_about.

Another good source is the Minnesota DNR's site: dnr.state.mn.us/livingwith_wildlife/woodpeckers/index.html.

This site points out that no one method works in every case, so try a variety of possible solutions.

Millions of woodpeckers

Woodpecker populations in U.S. and Canada according to Partners in Flight:

Downy woodpecker 13 million

Hairy woodpecker 8-9 million

Red-bellied woodpecker 16 million

Pileated woodpecker 2.6 million

Northern flicker 11 million

Yellow-bellied sapsucker 14 million

Red-headed woodpecker 1.8 million

St. Paul resident Val Cunningham, who volunteers with the St. Paul Audubon Society and writes about nature for a number of newspapers and magazines, can be reached at valwrites@comcast.net.

A Minnesota company says its ecological logging approach is good for the forest — and the bottom line

John Rajala hiked into a 6,000-acre tract of land he calls Wolf Lake Camp that his family bought over 50 years ago.“This is hallowed ground that we’re about to walk into now,” he said on that fall day.He’s a fourth-generation logger, an Ivy League grad who says he’s as much a tree hugger as he is a tree cutter.A hawk soared overhead among old-growth pines. More than 20 other species of trees — from yellow bi...

John Rajala hiked into a 6,000-acre tract of land he calls Wolf Lake Camp that his family bought over 50 years ago.

“This is hallowed ground that we’re about to walk into now,” he said on that fall day.

He’s a fourth-generation logger, an Ivy League grad who says he’s as much a tree hugger as he is a tree cutter.

A hawk soared overhead among old-growth pines. More than 20 other species of trees — from yellow birch to red oak — surround clear lakes. It seems like a protected park, but there are signs that this is a working forest.

“There’s a two-year-old stump, there’s a 15-year-old stump,” he pointed out. Then he stopped in front of a giant white pine tree. He estimates it’s about 120 years old.

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“It is of immense quality, because it is nearly 24 feet to the first limb. And that’s music to a logger and a sawmiller’s ears and eyes,” Rajala said, because it could be made into long, straight, valuable timbers.

But “I don’t know that we’ll ever cut this tree down,” he added.

Rajala’s company practices a more ecological approach to forestry than clearcutting. He leaves behind many of the most valuable trees for the health of the forest and to provide seeds for future big trees.

It’s a different approach for the forests around the Great Lakes, where logging often meant clearcutting, and then letting the woods grow back with fast-growing trees.

“We’re in the lumber business. We’re in the millwork business. We need these trees for our mill, but we need them for a seed source more,” Rajala said. “So we just have to be patient.”

But it can be hard to be patient on the timescale of a tree.

“Profits have to be deferred for when you cut the big trees. And that could be 80 years down the line,” said John Pastor, a retired forest ecologist at the University of Minnesota Duluth, who’s written a new book on the white pine.

But there is eventually a payoff, Pastor said, for those who spend the time actively managing the forest and delaying their harvest.

“Then, when you cut that tree, it’s going to be a really valuable tree,” he said. “So that’s the trade-off.”

On a nearby plot of land on the Chippewa National Forest, U.S. Forest Service ecologist Brian Palik said more landowners are interested in this kind of forestry — one that manages for a diversity of tree species and ages, and tries to mimic nature by cutting down select trees to imitate a fire or a windstorm.

But it’s not a widespread approach.

“Because to be able to do this takes resources,” Palik said. “And you have to be able to sell timber in some form or fashion to be able to pay for the kind of management that we’re looking at here.”

John Rajala said he pays for that forest management by selling high-quality products at a premium price.

In a big metal building nearby in the tiny town of Deer River, Minnesota, workers transform freshly cut trees from the forest Rajala hiked earlier into wood paneling and other custom products.

“That is some really special stuff,” he said as he held up a long plank of six-inch-wide paper birch flooring. He said this sells for $6 a square foot. That’s more expensive than at a big box store.

But he said, he’s confident there’s a market for it.

“Minnesotans care about their forests. And if we can tap into their desire to play a role in that, well, this is a win-win,” he said. “And a huge amount of the money that is generated from this revenue is going back into the forest.”

Rajala estimates 50% of his profits are used to manage the forest to grow and sustain future generations of trees.

Inviting the homeless home: Forest Lake church agrees to host Minnesota’s first tiny house village

Feb. 7, 2020 A Washington County church has agreed to host Minnesota’s first village of tiny houses for people who are currently sleeping outside.After a vote last week, the 1,500-member Faith Lutheran Church in Forest Lake is the first organization to welcome tiny homes on its property at the...

Feb. 7, 2020

A Washington County church has agreed to host Minnesota’s first village of tiny houses for people who are currently sleeping outside.

After a vote last week, the 1,500-member Faith Lutheran Church in Forest Lake is the first organization to welcome tiny homes on its property at the request of a Twin Cities-based nonprofit that believes the housing option represents the state’s best answer to its ballooning homeless population.

The nonprofit, called Settled, is trying to partner with faith-based groups in Minnesota to serve as landlords of the 100-square foot homes in part because federal laws governing church properties protect them from restrictive land-use changes. That means when neighborhoods or city planners make parcel adjustments to limit or increase development, churches can be exempt.

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If all goes according to plan, Faith Lutheran’s 7.8-acre property will be home to a village of 12 tiny homes — each of which includes a twin bed, a kitchen, composting toilets and more — for formerly homeless veterans in 2021. It would be the first settlement of its kind in Minnesota, though cities in other parts of the country for years have allowed tiny homes for low-income residents.

“While more and more housing is being built in the metropolitan area, much of it is out of reach for those who need it most desperately,” Washington County Commissioner Fran Miron, who has committed the county’s support to helping Faith Lutheran’s effort, said in a statement.

A cheaper option

The number of Minnesotans sleeping in tents, cars, alleyways, train cars or other such spaces has more than doubled since 2015, with emergency shelters throughout the Twin Cities often at capacity and waitlists for subsidized housing vouchers more competitive than ever.

According to Settled co-founder Gabrielle Clowdus, tiny homes represent a key part of the solution. The houses can be built for just $20,000 to $35,000 each, a fraction of the next-cheapest options, manufactured homes and government-sponsored affordable housing.

While studying the idea as a research fellow at the University of Minnesota, Clowdus quickly realized Minnesota’s zoning building regulations would make the concept difficult. Some cities prohibit homes that are less than 1,200-square feet, and all must follow state codes that require residential dwellings to have permanent foundations and plumbing, which can drive up construction costs.

But Clowdus found a way around those rules. By constructing the tiny homes on $5,000 trailers with wheels, the houses qualify under state law as recreational vehicles that provide temporary shelter. The one hitch: under current Minnesota law, RVs are not legal to live in year-round, so Settled plans to lobby state lawmakers to create a new category of legal housing as part of its strategy to make the housing option mainstream across the Twin Cities metro.

A good fit

With its recent motion, Faith Lutheran established a committee of church-goers to work with county officials like Miron and city leaders over the next several months to figure out how, exactly, the village would function. “The intention is not to simply put tiny homes in a parking lot,” Faith Lutheran Pastor John Klawiter said.

As envisioned by Settled, residents of the villages would pay $200 to $300 monthly in rent and play a role in maintaining the community. There would also be a “common house” (not on wheels) that would include dining spaces, bathrooms, laundry and kitchens for tenants to share. Meanwhile, volunteers from the church would live in tiny homes, too, to help make sure tenants follow the rules and stay safe.

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For tenants of the future settlement, project leaders are planning to recruit homeless veterans in Washington County or the northeast metro.

While the area’s homelessness problem is nowhere near that of Minneapolis and St. Paul — a one-night count of homeless people in Washington County tallied 277 people in 2018, compared to almost 3,300 in Hennepin County alone — Klawiter said the characteristics of the area make it a good fit to test a settlement of tiny houses. He said members of his congregation share similar values, like helping the poor, even if they vary in their political leanings.

“While it’s true that in Forest Lake we don’t ‘see’ people living in tents, there are people from Forest Lake and Washington County who are homeless are hidden or are now living in other places,” said parishioner Jennifer Tolzmann. “This new tiny house community will give us the power to invite them ‘home’!”

Cause of massive fire that destroyed home under construction on Lake Minnetonka still not determined

WOODLAND — A home that was under construction on Lake Minnetonka's Lower Lake was completely destroyed in a fire the evening of Wednesday, Feb. 12.The cause of the fire had not been determined as of Monday, Feb. 17.- Advertisement -The fire at the home on the 2700 block of Gale Road in Woodland was called in at 6:15 p.m. on Feb. 12, and by the time firefighters arrived the structure was fully engulfed, Wayzata Fire Chief Kevin Klapprich told Lakeshore Weekly News (the Wayzata Fire Department contracts with the city...

WOODLAND — A home that was under construction on Lake Minnetonka's Lower Lake was completely destroyed in a fire the evening of Wednesday, Feb. 12.

The cause of the fire had not been determined as of Monday, Feb. 17.

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The fire at the home on the 2700 block of Gale Road in Woodland was called in at 6:15 p.m. on Feb. 12, and by the time firefighters arrived the structure was fully engulfed, Wayzata Fire Chief Kevin Klapprich told Lakeshore Weekly News (the Wayzata Fire Department contracts with the city of Woodland for its fire coverage).

There are no fire hydrants in the area, so all the water had to be hauled in using tankers, Klapprich said. And the frigid temperatures, which dropped to below zero with wind chills colder than -20 that night, made it "tough ... harder on everybody and everything," Klapprich said, noting it's hard to stay warm and everything freezes when it's that cold outside.

No injuries were reported, but the structure is a total loss, Klapprich said.

According to Hennepin County records, the property on the 2700 block of Gale Road in Woodland was purchased in 2017 for $5.4 million. Records list the construction year as 2019, with Klapprich noting the home was still under construction at the time of the fire.

The property's owner, Jim Davis, of the Davis family which owns Minnesota-based Cambria, spoke with KSTP-TV, saying the most important thing is that no one was hurt; everything else is just "stuff."

It took about three hours for firefighters to get the "bulk of the flame down," Klapprich said. However, the site was still smoldering days later, with smoke seen rising from the charred ruins the morning of Saturday, Feb. 15.

"I haven’t been there for a couple days but, yes, there are a few hot spots burning in the basement," Klapprich said on Monday, Feb. 17. "Firefighters were on scene from 6:15 p.m. Wednesday evening when the call came in until approximately 9 a.m. Thursday. Police and fire have been checking the scene periodically."

Approximately 125 firefighters from 15 different fire departments responded to the fire, Klapprich said. This was one of the larger fires the Wayzata Fire Department has fought, and their twice-monthly training, which sometimes includes training with nearby departments, prepared them to knock down the flames.

"We train more than we use our training and that's a good thing," he said.

Soon after the fire was reported, a massive plume of black smoke could be seen billowing from Gale Road, the sky in the area was glowing orange and flames were visible across the lake, from Ferndale Road in Wayzata. The fire caused so much smoke that the National Weather Service tweeted Feb. 12 saying the fire produced "a very large smoke plume that has reached southern Scott County." The plume could be seen on radar images.

Several emergency vehicles blocked and directed traffic at the intersection of Breezy Point Road and Maplewood Road, which leads to Gale Road, on Feb. 12. In nearby Deephaven, a fire department vehicle and two firefighters were seen filling up the truck at a hydrant. By 7:45 a.m. on Feb. 13, the intersection was clear and vehicles had access to Gale Road.

An orange fence with "keep out" signs now lines the property to prevent people from gaining access to the site. Around 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 15, several people — two people on foot, one on a snowmobile and a few people and two dogs on a sled pulled by a snowmobile — took advantage of the warmer weather and went out on Lake Minnetonka to check out the charred ruins of the home, snapping photos and walking up to the fence to get a better look.

On nearby Robbinson's Bay, south of the site of the fire, the snow was a gray-ish color and pieces of charred material were scattered on the snow-covered ice. Klapprich says these pieces are likely ash from the fire.

Home in Woodland was inspired by its owners' love of Africa

Growing up in Farmington, Cass Stillman dreamed of adventures in faraway places. So a week after she graduated from college, she moved to the other side of the world: South Africa, to work as a dental hygienist. "I wanted to work someplace they spoke English," she said.She fell in love with Cape Town and all things African, but eventually returned to Minnesota, where she met her next lifelong love: her husband, Andy, who shares her passion for travel. "We both have wanderlust, and we travel together really well," h...

Growing up in Farmington, Cass Stillman dreamed of adventures in faraway places. So a week after she graduated from college, she moved to the other side of the world: South Africa, to work as a dental hygienist. "I wanted to work someplace they spoke English," she said.

She fell in love with Cape Town and all things African, but eventually returned to Minnesota, where she met her next lifelong love: her husband, Andy, who shares her passion for travel. "We both have wanderlust, and we travel together really well," he said.

About 20 years ago, they made their first trip to Africa together. "She wanted to go back, and I fell in love with it, too," Andy said.

The Stillmans make their home in Minnesota. But Africa is almost their second home. They've returned numerous times and led many groups (Cass is now a travel consultant, and Andy operated a food import business that he recently sold.) They've visited about a dozen African countries, even Uganda, back when tourism was first emerging after the overthrow of Idi Amin.

But their commitment to the continent goes deeper than just exotic vacations. They've also done mission work in Kenya, through a foundation, building a women's clinic and adopting a village where they're building a school.

Over the years, they've also built a collection of African sculptures, masks and other artwork, most of which they kept in boxes because they didn't have much space for displaying it in their house in Minnetonka. They finally decided to build a house where they could surround themselves with things that reminded them of their favorite destination.

But first they needed just the right site. They'd been looking for two years when Cass, out for a bike ride, came across a property for sale, a former dairy farm on a wooded, secluded site in Woodland, a small city tucked between Deephaven and Minnetonka. There already was a house on the property, but it had been built in 1962 and needed major repairs. The Stillmans decided it wasn't practical to save the house, although they did save the former barn and some exterior stonework.

To design their new house, they turned to architect Jim McNeal of Charles Cudd DeNovo, whom Andy had met on a Parade of Homes tour. "There was this guy there with a sketchbook," Andy recalled. "I could see his passion for wood and stone. We hit it off. I knew this was the guy."

Andy had a strong idea of what he wanted — a house that felt warm and relaxed, large but not grandiose, with a lot of stone and arches. "Stone is my favorite material," he said. He also wanted some African elements, and some cottage influences.

"I told Jim, 'I need you to create a new style: African storybook cottage.' "

McNeal was up for the challenge, which wasn't as incongruous as it sounds. "They didn't want literally African, but a hint to African," with African-inspired carvings, finishes and details, McNeal said. "Andy had the vision, and I could play off of it."

McNeal's first design, with a stone and stucco exterior, looked a little more Mediterranean than what Andy had in mind. So McNeal added a tall chimney and took the stone all the way up to the roof. "Kind of like 'The Hobbit,' " he said.

That was the look Andy had envisioned. "It was like this guy climbed into my head," he said.

Inside, the centerpiece of the home is a round living room, or rondavel, from the Africaan word "rondawel," which refers to a Westernized version of an African hut. The room has a distinctive curved drystack stone fireplace and a ceiling with classical groin vaults but in a machete shape. "Instead of traditional details, we came up with our own," McNeal said.

To fulfill Andy's vision for a one-of-a-kind house, McNeal assembled a team of artisans.

"Everybody had a voice," Andy said. "I told them, 'I'm going to let you guys have a lot of rein — give me your best.' " That's his advice for anyone building a custom home: "Choose the right people, then allow them to use their talent to the fullest."

That's not to say Andy didn't weigh in from time to time, such as when he decided that the interior woodwork needed raw, scraped edges for a rustic African aesthetic. "The corners were too sharp. It reminded me of my attorney's office," he said.

Stonemason Luke Busker of Roberts, Wis., played a pivotal role in the project. "He's not just a mason, he's an artist in stone," Andy said.

Busker made 12 trips to Montana quarries and brought back tons and tons of stone for the house and grounds. The handcut, drystack stone arches in the kitchen were especially challenging, Busker said. "It required a lot of math."

He devoted nearly two years to the project. "That was my baby," he said. "It's not like it's my house, but it has a special place in my heart. A lot of blood, sweat and tears."

The 6,400-square-foot home includes a gallery, where the Stillmans can display their African art, as well as art-friendly niches and alcoves.

When it was time for finishes and fabrics, McNeal called in interior designer Abby Wettleson of Charles Cudd DeNovo. Wettleson met first with Cass to understand why the African theme was so close to her heart. "She had lived there and always loved it. It was important to both of them," Wettleson said.

During the project, Wettleson learned the difference between African and Indian elephants, where to find crocodile-shaped hardware and how to use limestone tile to mimic the look of ivory. "There was so much permanent detail in the house, like carving, that the other things didn't need to be so obviously African," Wettleson said. "We chose organic things and warm, earthy colors."

Wettleson and Cass even got their hands dirty fabricating the laundry room countertop, which is made of blue glass and concrete. "My favorite color is blue," Cass said. "We collected Skyy vodka bottles for a year," with help from a restaurant in Hudson, Wis., then crushed them and mixed them into the concrete themselves.

At the end of the project, the Stillmans treated McNeal and Wettleson to a trip to South Africa to see its wonders for themselves.

"That was like a dream," Wettleson said. "It was the project of my career — the most involved and rewarding, and the most unique and personal home I've done."

Andy, who christened the house Mwamba Boma, which is Swahili for "big stone homestead," loves every inch of it. "This is everything I wanted, room by room," he said.

The couple, who entertain frequently, have hosted many gatherings in their new home, including several fundraisers for African-related causes. Andy's favorite compliment came from a guest: "Someone said, 'It's big, but it doesn't feel too big. It's very warm.' That was music to my ears."

Kim Palmer • 612-673-4784

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