Motorists may be wondering about the stakes and small piles of mulch that popped up recently along the new four-lane stretch of Highway 371 between Nisswa and Jenkins.

It's all part of a follow-up landscape plan to plant trees and shrubs, said Matt Indihar, Minnesota Department of Transportation project manager.

"It's a follow-up landscape project to help restore some of the natural look and feel of the highway," Indihar said.

After mowing, a contractor has been out the past couple of weeks marking locations with stakes to plant trees, shrubs and other landscape beds. Herbicide was applied in areas where beds will be planted to kill existing vegetation.

"We're trying to hustle and get some trees and shrubs in this fall," Indihar said. "There should be some being planted this week. Whatever they can't get to this fall - we're running into the end of the planting season - they'll be out in early spring."