Laramie’s canopy is set to grow larger and more diverse this summer thanks to a new organization that’s bringing trees to town.
Rooted In Laramie is planning two plantings this summer and fall, with trees available for $50 each thanks to grant funding from the Wyoming State Forestry Division and Laramie Garden Club.
For the first planting, 50 trees will be available at the city’s annual Arbor Day Tree Sale on a first-come, first-served basis. The sale is scheduled for 8 a.m. June 8 at the Laramie Ice & Event Center, 3510 Garfield St. Doors open at 6:30 a.m.
Those will be the only trees available at the sale, which has traditionally featured trees available at-cost to residents.
Those who purchase trees at the sale will leave them there, to be planted the following weekend by Rooted In Laramie volunteers. The organization will work with homeowners to figure out the best location for the tree and make sure it won’t interfere with utilities.
“We need to be planning how big the tree is going to get in 50 years and not have it messing up your foundation or breaking up the sidewalk,” said Hilery Lindmier, one of the founders of Rooted In Laramie.
During the planting, volunteers will mulch and stake the tree and provide a slow-release watering bag, and they’ll check on the tree during the following year.
High Altitude Nursery and Landscaping and TigerTree will lead the planting crews, and volunteers are welcome to join the effort.
For the first planting, because of grant requirements, trees must be planted in the city right-of-way between the sidewalk and the street of a front yard, or within several feet of the sidewalk.
Available species include hot wings maple, winter king hawthorn, imperial honeylocust, radiant crabapple, spring snow crabapple, Swedish columnar aspen and bur oak.
Rooted In Laramie will also be raffling two royal raindrop crabapples during the sale, which will also be planted the following weekend.
Lindmier said each species has a track record of growing well in Laramie’s climate. They’ll also add variety to a cityscape that features mostly cottonwoods.
“One of our missions is to increase the variety of trees in the canopy that’s in Laramie’s community,” she said.
Rooted In Laramie is taking applications for a fall planting, when trees will again be available for $50. Fall species include Renaissance oasis birch, hackberry, thornless cockspur hawthorn, Adirondack crabapple, Klehm’s Bechtel crabapple, prairiefire crabapple, Swedish columnar aspen, bur oak, Jefferson American elk and triumph elm.
For the fall planting, trees can be placed anywhere in the front yard, and the planting is open to residents who aren’t strictly within city limits.
“If people are wanting to have a little bit more flexibility, that would be a great option for them,” Lindmier said.
Lindmier started Rooted In Laramie last fall together with Jeff Smith of TigerTree and City Arborist Randy Overstreet. All three were concerned about the number of cottonwoods in town that were growing old and being taken down, without many trees replacing them.
“Our big goal is to try to help add trees to Laramie, and especially help homeowners add tress where they may never have had a tree before,” she said.
They were able to model the organization around a group called Rooted in Cheyenne, which is a city program with a similar mission.
In addition to grant funding, Rooted In Laramie is receiving support from Laramie’s Basecamp, which plans to donate 1 percent of all sales to the group. Basecamp has T-shirts and other swag for sale at its store, 222 S. Second St.