Of the original 2,500 apple tress only about 50 remain.
Project leaders Colovich and Joanne Slingerland, CWC Lander Outreach coordinator, will also recruit community volunteers for many of the project activities. Another important aspect of the project is the partnership with Dr. Steve Miller, a University of Wyoming botanist. Dr. Miller has extensive experience and knowledge in grafting of heritage apple trees, the history of apple production in Wyoming and historic orchard restoration. He has propagated nearly 50 trees from grafts of existing heritage trees at the Sinks Canyon Center. These trees will be replanted at the orchard during the duration of the project. Dr. Miller has conducted workshops throughout Wyoming and says there is intense interest from apple producers for propagating trees from the Sinks Canyon Center heritage trees.
“These trees have proven their survivability in Wyoming’s challenging climatic conditions,” Slingerland said. “This project will also provide useful information for owners of old and deteriorating orchards in our region, who are interested in restoring the health and vigor of their trees.”