Trees Program

Approximately 27,000 trees and shrubs have been planted on the Ucross Ranch during the past seven years. The sixteen species planted include cottonwood, box elder, ash, plum, hawthorne, willow (Peach Leaf and Coyote), Canadian red, aspen blue and green spruce, chokecherry, and sumac. 

In 2011 Ucross Foundation and Raymond Plank were recognized for their tree planting efforts with a Good Steward Award from the Arbor Day Foundation.

Ucross Foundation’s long-standing dedication to tree planting originated many years ago with Raymond Plank, whose own tree-planting efforts began over half a century ago when he was raising his children in Minnesota.  Roger Plank, Raymond’s son, recalls planting spruce trees around their Minnesota property at their father’s urging.  “Thanks to dad’s vision and desire to leave the world a little better than he found it, those seedlings have grown into majestic trees that shade the neighborhood that has sprung up around them.” 

Yale University’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies has recently teamed up with Ucross Foundation on a multi-year collaboration focused on future plans for the Ucross Ranch. Among the many ideas currently under discussion is a plan to create a small arboretum on the ranch. During their time at Ucross in summer 2013, Yale students set up acoustic monitoring stations around the ranch to record the abundance of bird life found on the ranch.

Ucross recently began the creation of a community park, and local community members have been invited to become directly involved with the development of the park through tree plantings and personal dedications. Volunteer planters have included the John P. Ellbogen Foundation (during their Wyoming Education Summit at Ucross in 2012), participants in a Fund for Teachers retreat in 2013, and law students from the University of Wyoming. The park will include the planting of many more trees and flowers, and the creation of walking paths and benches. Ucross artists-in-residence have also helped plant trees on the campus of the Foundation.

The Ucross Foundation Art Gallery recently presented an exhibition of art celebrating trees featuring over 20 artists from Wyoming and around the country. Catalogs for that show, In the Presence of Trees, are available to all Ucross visitors throughout the year.