The best friend on earth of man is the tree: when we use the tree respectfully and economically we have one of the greatest resources of the earth.
The 235 acre Cakebread Ranch is located 45 miles south of Jackson, WY in Thayne, WY near the snow capped Caribou and Salt River mountain ranges. The ranch contains nearly 4 miles of the Salt River, and in 2005 was converted to a property that hosted in part a day lodge/resort and in other part a private residence for the Cakebread Family. Prior to its recent conversion to providing fly fishing adventures, spa services, and organically grown fruits and vegetables, the property served as a cattle operation.
TLC was initially contacted to help the Ranch manage approximately six hundred incorrectly planted spruce and aspen trees. TLC is often contacted to correct the mistakes of other contractors. TLC’s ISA (International Society of Arboriculture) Certified Arborists identified numerous types of cankers, spruce pests and associated aspen diseases that were causing a decline in the trees. The symptoms that were present in the declining trees led TLC to recommend the re-planting the trees, which would serve to correct the causes of the symptoms. As ISA Certified Arborist Josh Reed discusses, “replanting the approximately six hundred trees was a seemingly monumental task; however, if it were not completed the trees might live another five years only to die. By correcting the situation now, the owners will be able to enjoy the trees for a lifetime.”
The concept of the planting design was developed by landscape architect Steve Ashworth of the Ashworth Group of Thayne, WY. Steve’s design sought to provide long vistas over gentle slopes of aspen and spruce stands that were interspersed with fields of native grasses, a meadow of lavender, a fruit orchard, and an organic greenhouse. Inclusive in the landscape design was the focus on breeding and raising 100 % full blooded Wagyu cattle to graze the grass meadows of the Ranch. Started from the oldest and preeminent Japanese bloodlines in the breed they produce true Kobe beef.
TLC worked with Steve to accomplish his design goals through the contouring of the landscape, the planting of a meadow of lavender that included species of lavender acclimated for the high elevation planting climate for the Ranch, the installation of an organic greenhouse, the installation of a fruit orchard, the installation of a native plant nursery, as well as the additional planting of an additional four hundred spruce, aspen, and shrub species.
The organic greenhouse was developed for the production of vegetables for local and visiting customers of the day lodge. The concept is to provide all food for the day lodge from food grown on the Ranch. TLC was asked to install the growing containers and irrigation for the organic greenhouse. In doing so, TLC studied the native soil properties of the Ranch, as well as the soil properties of local topsoil producers that claimed to have very good growing mediums for vegetables and herbs. TLC worked with the Soil and Plant Laboratory http://www.soilandplantlaboratory.com/ in San Jose, California to determine the growing medium that was the best to use for vegetable and herb growth.
The orchard that TLC planted is being used to produce apples, cherries, pears, and plums for customers of the day lodge. The half acre orchard featured Cherry Trees (Prunus cerasus ‘montmorency’ & Prunus cerasus ‘Evans Bali’), Pear trees (Pyrus domestica ‘Summer Crisp’), Plum Tree’s (Prunus domestica ‘Mount Royal’) and Apple tree’s (Malus domestica ‘Red Delicious’, Malus domestica ‘McIntosh’ & Malus domestica ‘Sweet Sixteen’). Link to Orchard Spreadsheet
Cakebread Fruit Trees:
Prunus Cerasus ‘Montmorency’, Cherry Tree
The most popular sour cherry in America for pies and preserves. The medium large fruit is bright red with firm, yellow flesh and clear juice. The trees are self-fruitful, winter hardy, very productive and ripen in late June. The Montmorency Cherry Tree is a rounded tree. Mature height: 8-15’. Mature spread: 10-20’. Grows in various soils and does well with full sun. Zones 4-8.
Prunus Cerasus ‘Evans Bali’, Cherry Tree
Evans Bali Tart cherry is one of the hardiest tart cherries to be found. It is a naturally compact, dwarfish tree that will withstand the cold north winters and produce an abundance of tart pie cherries which are bright red. If left on the tree to hang, they will develop more sugar and become a great snacking cherry. It is self-fertile and requires no other pollinator. It is highly productive and ripens with most other tart cherries. Mature height: 8-12’. Mature spread: 8-10 ‘. Easy to grow and does well in full sun. Zones 3-6.
Pyrus Domestica‘Summer Crisp’, Pear Tree
Medium sized fruit with sweet, crisp flesh. Ripens mid-August. Annual bearer. Fruit is good for eating, baking and making sauce. Bloom in early May. Mature height: 18- 25’. Grows in various soils and does well with full sun. Zones 4-6.
Prunus Domestica‘Mount Royal’, Plum Tree
Discovered in Montreal, this is one of the few European Plums that is reliably hardy in this area. The medium sized, juicy fruit has blue skin with yellow clingstone flesh. Ripens in late August. Self pollinating. Mature height- 20’. Mature spread 10’. Does well with full sun and medium water requirement. Flower color/season: White/Late Spring, Early Summer. Zones 4-8.
Malus Domestica ‘Red Delicious’, Apple Tree
America’s favorite red apple is tender, crisp, juicy, and has mild flavor for fresh eating. Fruit trees need a minimum of 6-8 hours sunlight daily, and need water. They are not drought tolerant. The Red Delicious Apple Tree is a fast growing, oval-shaped tree. Mature height: 10-15’. Mature spread: 10-25’. This tree grows in various soils and does well with full sun. Zones 5-8.
Malus Domestica‘McIntosh’, Apple Tree
The McIntosh apple is an early and heavy producer. The flesh is white, soft and fine-textured. The flavor is distinctively tangy and aromatic. The McIntosh has a rather tough skin that has mixed red and green coloring. Mature height: 12-20’. Mature spread: 15’. This tree does well in full sun with a medium water requirement. Flower color/season: White/Spring. Zones 3-8.
Malus Domestica‘Sweet Sixteen’, Apple Tree
The Sweet Sixteen apple tree is a very cold hardy variety developed by the University of Minnesota. Dark red apples are crisp and very sweet. Withstands sub-zero conditions and bears heavily. Excellent for eating and pie-making. Fruit ripens in late September. Mature height: 10-16’. Mature spread: 10-14’. This tree enjoys full sun. Zones 3-7.
A unique feature for the ranch is the half acre lavender field. This aesthetically appealing feature is used for the lovely fragrance provided by the flowers along with the visual features provided by the field. The Ranch will utilize the lavender field for cut flowers. TLC selected varieties of lavender that would live in the high altitude environment if the Cakebread Ranch.
← Return to Projects