choosing trees for high plains in WY

atomicskierAugust 6, 2012

Hi all,

we've just landed a hunk of land in southeast Wyoming and I want to get some trees growing as soon as I can but I'm not sure what to choose. We're at 7600 feet on the plains. The way the land is shaped there are two drainages that don't have visible water in them, but we're at the foot of a huge plateau so I'm thinking we get regular run off. We are not allowed to alter the drainage (e.g. making a retention pond) but we can plant whatever we want.

Even in this extreme hot and dry weather the drainages seem to maintain green grass and some little bitty green shrubs. I'm hopeful that this means there is some water to be had for starting trees. We'll be a long way from putting in a well so any other water will be hauled and right now we're at the property every 1-2 weeks.

Given that information, can you suggest some faster growing trees that might have a chance? properties near us have scrubby bushes and some with seasonal creeks have plains Cottonwoods. we just have grass and cactus.

I'd love ideas on tree varieties to try and ideas for keeping them watered if we're only able to be there every two weeks. we really want something faster growing (probably not evergreen).

many thanks!


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Recommend you ask this question on the "trees" forum. Include information on approximate "Zone" and annual rainfall of your property. How long does water run in the drainage channels?

Cottonwoods and Bur Oaks grow out west along creeks. We have a host of other trees in Texas that might work, but am unsure about how high they normally grow and cold-hardiness way up in Wyoming. Ask on the trees forum and someone more familiar with your conditions and area will likely chime in.
One note : typically drought-resistant trees are not fast growing.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2012 at 11:42PM
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Any tree will probably take water the first year or two to get started. Once they get their roots down they'll be able to draw on water stored in the soil from winter precipitation. Wild fires should be one of your major concerns; you will want to get advice from local agencies for planting recommendations.

If I had a source of water, I'd plant the cottonwoods (or aspens), bur oak, and most likely ponderosa pine. That's what we have here more or less.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2012 at 10:50AM
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