Planting for conservation in Sublette County

Joy Ufford photo

Fall is here and that means it’s time to think trees! Yep, you heard me right! Sublette County Conservation District (SCCD) would like to remind everyone of our Seedling Tree Program that will be launching Nov. 1, 2021.

SCCD’s Tree Program offers seedlings and bareroots to landowners with at least two acres at a nominal cost for the following conservation uses: living snow/wind fence, visual screens, noise barriers, erosion control and once established, wildlife habitat.

Orders can be placed on our online form found in the Tree Program selection of our Programs tab at Order forms can also be dropped off at our office, located at 217 Country Club Lane. Seedlings will be available for pickup in late April/early May. We also sell products for seedling planting/survival such as fertilizer tablets, polymer, bamboo stakes, weed barrier fabric and staples, wind/snow guards and more!

All items for sale and their cost can be found on our website under the Tree Program and will be added to this year’s order form.

Don’t know where to start?

Knowing your elevation, water availability and soil types can make the difference with the survival of a planting. If you would like more information, please visit our website listed above and view the “Planting for Conservation in Sublette County” guide found online in the Tree Program selection of our website or stop by our office and pick one up at no cost!

Don’t know what to plant? There are many more trees and shrubs that do well in this area than those listed below; these are just some personal favorites.

Deciduous trees & shrubs

The following deciduous plants are popular choices in Sublette County.

  • Quaking aspen is a native tree that tends to do well in Sublette County as they have moderate drought resistance and excellent cold hardiness. They grow into large groves, making them a favorite for multiple conservation projects.
  • Golden willow comes as a bareroot variety. These are excellent at resisting cold temperatures but need to be placed next to waterways, as they are not drought resistant. These provide great screens and excellent erosion control for conservation projects.
  • One of my favorites is the caragana, also known as the Siberian pea shrub, also a bareroots plant. These are very hardy trees/shrubs that are both cold and drought resistant. They are fast growing with extensive root systems. These make great plants for erosion control, snow/wind breaks and an aesthetic value as they flower bright snapdragon-looking blooms.
  • Fruit-bearing trees: Fruit-bearing trees can be grown in Sublette County; however our growing season typically is too short to achieve sizable ripe fruit. Most of these can be used as visual screens, windbreaks and wildlife habitat.
  • Chokecherry trees are a favorite and do very well here. It is a small tree that grows into thickets and produces fragrant white flowers that form small dark red chokecherries that are a favorite among jelly makers! They do okay with drought and have excellent hardiness when it comes to cold temperatures.
  • Golden currants are another favorite. These shrubs grow quickly and have good cold and drought resistance. They produce small flowers that form into grapes, making it a favorite for many uses.
  • Conifers make great wind/snow fences. While these are typically slow growing, they generally live a long time, are cold hardy and once established, drought resistant. Some of these species include Colorado blue spruce, Engelmann spruce and the lodgepole pine. The lodgepole pine is a very popular choice in Sublette County, as it is the hardiest with droughts and our intense winters.

For any other information or questions on our tree program, please feel free to stop by or give us a call at 307-367-2364. We are always available to answer questions you may have about your specific area, and to provide you with all the knowledge and tools needed to optimize the success of your seedlings.

I hope to meet you in the spring on seedling distribution day as you gear up for conservation planting in Sublette County!