LARAMIE – Rooted in Laramie, a local non-profit, is excited to kick off their first planting by selling discounted trees at the City of Laramie’s annual Arbor Day Tree Sale.

But this isn’t just the usual tree sale.

Rooted in Laramie will deliver and plant purchased trees, and provide follow-up care for a year to ensure each tree’s success. For this inaugural planting, they’ll need to be placed in the right-of-way areas within city limits, but those restrictions will change for the fall planting. The spring sale is June 8 at the Laramie Ice and Event Center. Trees are only $50 and only 50 trees will be available, so come early to make sure you get one. Doors open at 6:30 a.m. and the sale begins at 8 a.m.

“I am such a tree nerd!” exclaimed Laura McGinley, board member of RiL. “I was reading through the tree descriptions and found myself super excited about all of them we are selling and mentally trying to figure out where I personally could plant one of each!“

Tree species that will be available June 8 are Swedish columnar Aspen; Bur oak; Canada red chokeberry; Hot wings maple; Imperial honeylocust; Northern acclaim honeylocust; Radiant crabapple; Spring snow crabapple; Common hackberry; and Winter king hawthorn.

Hilery Lindmier is a co-founder and chair of Rooted in Laramie. She said RiL got underway in January of this year. The group based their model on a successful program in Cheyenne, so they didn’t have to re-invent the wheel, so to speak.

“Rooted in Cheyenne is about 3-years-old. They gave us a lot of guidance, all their founding documents, all the history of the research they did, and they also shared their logo with us! It takes a lot of work to do the background work to put an organization like this together. They essentially gave us a model that they started that we could build off of and adapt for Laramie,” Lindmier said.

“I live in the ‘old tree’ area of Laramie, south of the UW campus, and I’ve been watching the cottonwoods getting taken down. A lot of it is necessary because they are aging out. You don’t see the trees replanted. When you look at old pictures of Laramie, it’s startling how stark it is, and how exposed the city is. If we don’t replant, we could go back to that eventually,” said Lindmier.

After meeting and discussing the problem with City of Laramie Arborist Randy Overstreet, and local tree expert Jeff Smith of TigerTree several times, and seeing what Rooted in Cheyenne had accomplished, they knew the concept was just what Laramie needed.

Lindmier said RiL is targeting homeowners, but they will not rule out businesses that would like trees planted.

“We just want to get trees in the ground and get them planted the right way so they will flourish. With the city arborist on the RiL board, we have a great working relationship with the city. But from the get-go, we wanted to remain separate. We’re a NFP and are not dependent on the city. Our city has enough that they are responsible for!” said Lindmier.

The cost of the trees is greatly reduced thanks to grants from the Wyoming State Forestry Division and Laramie Garden Club.

Plus, the organization got good news on May 1, when Basecamp, Laramie’s premier outdoor retail store, pledged to donate 1% of net annual retail sales to support Rooted in Laramie’s long-term tree planting initiative.

“We celebrated our first birthday the first week of May, and we’re really inspired by many of the 1%-for-the-planet brands in the outdoor industry. We want to follow that example, but support an environmental group on a more grassroots, local level,” said Rebecca Walsh, owner of Basecamp.

“As we were researching a non-profit organization to support, the mission of Rooted in Laramie really resonated with us. We can all agree trees make our community better. We’re thrilled to partner with them to help plant trees and continue to make Laramie a healthy and beautiful place to live,” she said.

“We love Laramie and our first year in business has been wonderful. We hope that Laramie residents will continue to support us by shopping locally, especially now that a small percentage of what they’ve spent at Basecamp will go to support local tree planting. In fact, we invite other Laramie area businesses to join us as we give 1% for local trees,” said Walsh.

Rooted in Laramie is comprised of a group of citizens with a mission to build up Laramie’s community forest.

“It’s my vision that someday, the whole of Laramie becomes the desirable ‘tree area,’” said Lacey Jeroue, secretary and board member.

Education is also an important aspect of Rooted in Laramie, and Lindmier adds that they are looking forward to helping property owners discover the many varieties of trees beyond Poplars that can survive Laramie’s harsh climate, and also help them learn how to help all of their trees thrive, even those that have been around for decades.

You can learn more about Rooted in Laramie by visiting their Facebook Page; get a tree application by emailing RootedInLaramie@gmail.com or contact Randy Overstreet, City of Laramie Arborist, by email ROverstreet@cityoflaramie.org or 307-721-5338. An official website will be coming in June.